FOR RELEASE: Jan. 9, 2007
 
GALVESTON, Texas — A $100,000 gift to UTMB’s Colon Cancer Prevention Program will support patient discounts for screening colonoscopies, considered the best method for early detection of colon cancer. The contribution will also fund community outreach and education efforts to increase public understanding of colon cancer prevention. 

The donated funds, raised at the San Luis Salute to Colon Cancer Prevention, allow UTMB to offer a $100 discount on the co-pay for a screening colonoscopy if an individual earns less than $50,000 per year. UTMB will be able to offer the discount to 500 patients.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most common, and yet preventable cancers,” said Dr. Marc Shabot, professor of internal medicine and gastroenterology. “We are grateful for this thoughtful and potentially lifesaving donation.” 

Shabot said one of the great advantages of colonoscopies is that they allow physicians to discover and remove polyps that may become cancerous before they actually do so. “Colonoscopies are one of the best methods for detecting colon cancer in the early stages, when treatment is most likely to be successful.”

Dr. Shabot and Dr. G.S. Raju, associate professor of internal medicine and gastroenterology, served as honorary co-chairs of the Salute.

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women combined, according to the American Cancer Society. Each year more than 50,000 people die from the disease.

Patients who are interested should ask their primary care physicians for a referral for colonoscopy, or call (409) 772-3637 for more information.
The University of Texas Medical Branch
Public Affairs Office
301 University Boulevard, Suite 3.102
Galveston, Texas 77555-0144
www.utmb.edu