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Bayfront Health Commits to Life-Saving Role

Bayfront Health Commits to Life-Saving Role
Tim Cerullo, Market CEO for Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, signs pledge embracing the shared goal of reaching 80% screened for colorectal cancer.

Bayfront Health Joins Forces with More Than a Thousand Local and National Organizations to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates Across the Country.

Colorectal cancer screening has been proven to save lives. Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda today announced that it has made the pledge to help increase colorectal cancer screening rates by supporting the “80% by 2018” initiative, led by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (a coalition co-founded by ACS and CDC).

While colorectal cancer incidence rates have dropped in the U.S. among adults 50 and older, colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. when men and women are combined. And, it is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented. Through colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer.

“80% by 2018” is a National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) initiative in which more than a thousand organizations have committed to substantially reducing colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018. Leading public health organizations, such as NCCRT, CDC and the ACS are rallying organizations to embrace this shared goal. If we can achieve 80% by 2018, 277,000 cases and 203,000 colorectal cancer deaths would be prevented by 2030.

“Colon cancer is a major public health problem, and adults age 50 and older should be regularly screened for it,” said Sovi Joseph, M.D., gastroenterologist and member of the medical staff at Bayfront Health Port Charlotte. “Currently the screening rate is only about 50% due to many people not believing they are at risk, not understanding that there are test options or thinking they can’t afford it. The truth is that simply aging puts you at greater risk for colon cancer. Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, so most everyone 50 and older should get screened.”

Part of the 80% by 2018 goal is to leverage the energy of multiple and diverse partners to empower communities, patients and providers to increase screening rates. The 80% by 2018 initiative consists of health care providers, health systems, communities, businesses, community health centers, government, non-profit organizations and patient advocacy groups, among others, who are committed to getting more people screened for colorectal cancer to prevent more cancers and save lives.

“We are thrilled to join the cause to improve colon cancer screening rates,” said Tim Cerullo, Market CEO for Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda. “We are asking all members of our community to come together. Talk to your friends and family who are over 50 years of age about getting screened. Together, we can help make colon cancer a major public health success story.”

For more information about colorectal cancer screening, visit or contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345. For more information about the 80% by 2018 initiative, visit To find a physician, visit

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