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Endoscopy Community Outreach

Arthur Wasser, MD talks about it on the radio. Larry Pellish, MD has appeared on Pittsfield Community TV. The topic for these BHS gastroenterologists is colon cancer and the life-saving value of regular colonoscopy screenings beginning at the age of 50.

They are part of a comprehensive community outreach initiative sponsored by BHS that is reaching thousands of area residents through the media, health fairs, employee wellness programs and at other venues to educate listeners and ease concerns about this vital cancer screening tool. Registered nurses and staff of the Endoscopy Units have also volunteered many hours to Wellnesss Fairs at the Berkshire Mall and local employers, and many have participated in Relay for Life.

In 2006, Berkshire Medical Center officially became a “Colon Cancer Awareness Zone,” with the help of a formal proclamation by Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto, who has been screened for colon cancer himself and urged others to do so as well.

While there are a number of tests for colon cancer, colonoscopy has been shown to provide the best results and offers the greatest chance of catching colon cancer early.

“Unfortunately, screening rates for colon cancer are still below those of other cancers, and that’s of great concern to me,” said Dr. Pellish. “Studies show that just over 40% of Americans age 50 and older have been screened. We have a long way to go, but we need to get the message out that screening saves lives through early detection. My message is the same whether I’m meeting with a patient in the office or striking up a conversation with someone in the community. Get screened; don’t wait until it’s too late.”

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