Your Guide for Knowing Where to Go for the Right Type of Care. Click here

Join Atrium Health Navicent in recognizing March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

The community is invited to join Atrium Health Peyton Anderson Cancer Center in recognizing March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer, a combined term for colon cancer and rectal cancer, is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the United States.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women in the U.S. The ACS estimates that in 2022 there will be 106,180 new cases of colon cancer and 44,850 new cases of rectal cancer.

Several risk factors for colorectal cancer — smoking, diet, obesity, diabetes and sedentary lifestyle — are within our control and can be limited through lifestyle changes,” said Dr. Hope Rasque, an Atrium Health Navicent colon and rectal surgery specialist.

The death rate from colorectal cancer is particularly high in Central Georgia. The colorectal cancer death rate in central Georgia is 14.8 deaths per 100,000 people, which is higher than the national average of 13.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

If you’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, physicians at the Atrium Health Peyton Anderson Cancer Center are available to provide multidisciplinary, integrated and comprehensive care. Atrium Health Navicent holds accreditation from the National Accreditation Program for Rectal Cancer (NAPRC), a quality program of the American College of Surgeons, and provides patients with peace of mind that they are receiving the best possible care.

Screening tests can find precancerous polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer. For individuals of average risk, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening for colorectal cancer starting at age 45 and continuing until age 75.

“Patients may already have colorectal cancer by the time symptoms are present. Only 30 percent of patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer present with symptoms. Prevention with screening is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer,” Rasque said.

If you’ve delayed yearly colorectal screening or doctors visits due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to get back on track with regular screenings. Routine screenings are available through your primary care provider. For more information, or to find a doctor, please visit

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit