Straub Oncologist Dr. Ian Okazaki (font, left) signs the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable 's '80% by 2018' commitment pledge on behalf of Straub Medical Center with Gastroenterologist Dr. Donald Saelinger (front, center) and Clinic Operations Manager Julio Zamarripa (front, right). Also pictured are (from left) Courtney Schwartz, American Cancer Society; Liz Wright, Hawaii Pacific Health; and Tracey Hewitt, Straub Oncology. Saelinger has since retired from Straub.

Straub GIs Reach Goal, Screen More Than 80% of Colorectal Patients


In 2017, the gastroenterology physicians at Straub Medical Center – to include Drs. Donald Saelinger (retired), Ike Tanabe, Timothy Swindoll, Mari Ikeguchi and Jonathan Gochu – along with the Hawaii branch of the American Cancer Society (ACS), committed to screening 80% of HMSA patients attributed to a Straub primary care physician. 

The team is pleased to announce that it has achieved that goal, screening 81% of these patients. 

“The simple message is that colon cancer screening saves lives,” says Swindoll, who is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 

The screenings were done in support of the “80% by 2018” initiative, led by ACS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (an organization co-founded by ACS and CDC). 

The simple message is that colon cancer screening saves lives.”

More than 500 organizations joined the commitment to screening 80% of adults ages 50 and older for colorectal cancer by 2018, with the shared goal to substantially reduce colorectal cancer as a major public health problem. 

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women combined in North America as well as in Hawaii. 

This year alone, 50,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer. However, the majority of these deaths could have been prevented with regular colonoscopy screenings. 

The Straub Gastroenterology Department has a clear message for patients: 'Check Your Colon!'

“Although there are several methods for screening for colon cancer, colonoscopy is by far the most effective,” explains Swindoll. “Colonoscopy not only finds colon cancer at an early stage, when it is most curable, it also allows for the detection and removal of precancerous polyps before they turn into cancer.” 

The CDC recommends that colon cancer screening begins at age 45, or at age 40 for those who have a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps. 

Discuss colon cancer screening with your physician. 

For information about colon cancer screening, call the Straub Medical Center Gastroenterology Department at 808-535-0955.



Published on: March 2, 2018