FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer related deaths; however it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether.

Broward Health Medical Center (BHMC) has made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the 80 percent by 2018 initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC).

To contribute to the pledge funds awarded to Broward Health Medical Center and Broward Health North (BHN) Cancer Services through the American Cancer Society’s Colorectal Cancer Partnership Award were used for colorectal cancer education and screenings. BHMC and BHN provided two community education and screening events on colorectal cancer.

Mehmet Hepgur, MD, presented on behalf of BHMC at New Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Fort Lauderdale, where 19 people were screened following the lecture.

“Colorectal cancer is a major public health problem, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it, but we have found that many people aren’t getting tested because they don’t believe they are at risk, don’t understand that there are testing options or don’t think they can afford it,” said Heather Miller, Regional Director of Cancer Services and Lillian S. Wells Women’s Health Center. “The truth is that the vast majority of cases of colorectal cancer occur in people age 50 and older. Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 50 and older should get tested. There are several screening options – even take home options – available. Plus, many public and private insurance plans cover colorectal cancer screening.”

Part of the “80 percent by 2018 goal” is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients, providers to increase screening rates. For more information about Broward Health Medical Center Cancer Services, please visit or call 954.355.4400.