Tonya Ball, an oncology-certified nurse and has worked as the Oncology Services Nurse Navigator with Baptist Cancer Center for more than 10 years spoke to the Rotary Club of North Jackson at the club's March 3, 2020 meeting. Her presentation was the second of three presentations that representative of Baptist will make to our Rotary club this year. The subject of her presentation was advances in colorectal cancer research. Ms. Ball discussed ways to minimize colorectal cancer by diet, activity, and regular screening. She cited statistics demonstrating that survivability of this cancer depends on how far the disease has progressed. If the cancer is local; i.e., it has not spread beyond its point of origin, five-year survivability is 90%, if it is regional; i.e., it has not spread far from its point of origin, five-year survivability is 71% and if it is distant; i.e., it has spread throughout the body, five-year survivability is 14%. 
Ms. Ball noted that in February 2000, President Clinton officially dedicated March as official Colorectal Cancer awareness month. She cited that colorectal Cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer, it is the second leading cause of death in men and women 50 years of age or older, and it is one of the most treatable cancers if it is found early. One in three adults 50 years and older are not getting screened. The risk of getting colon cancer is 0ne in 23 for men and women (a combined4. 5%), but this varies widely depending on individual risk factors, some of which are hereditary (non-modifiable) and modifiable. Modifiable factors are activity, diet (red meat and processed meat consumption), smoking, obesity, increased alcohol consumption. People need to begin screening about age 50 depending on their heritage. She cited a widely advertised colorectal cancer detection system named Cologuard. Cologuard is not perfect, but the data support its use when symptoms are present in individuals. Those symptoms are blood in the stool or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement, bleeding from the rectum, dark or black stools, change in bowel patters /shape of stool, cramping or discomfort in the lower abdomen, or unintentional weight loss.
We thank Ball for her presentation and for her service to the patients of Baptist Medical System. The information she provided is critical to our members. Shown from left, Larry Anderson, club director; Ball and Caitlin Hayden, System Community Involvement and Special Events Coordinator.