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colorectal cancer

March 4, 2019 - 10:52am
Event Date and Time: 
March 27, 2019 - 6:00pm

Library Community Health Talk

145,600 NEW CASES OF

Join Andrea Zucchiatti, MD on MARCH 27 AT 6PM
to learn about:

  • Colorectal Cancer Screenings
  • The Latest Trends in Care
  • Why This Matters in Our Community

Richmond Memorial Library
19 Ross Street, Batavia, NY 14020
Free to attend!
Call 585.344.5439 to register.

March 1, 2016 - 1:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in health, colorectal cancer, news.

Press release:

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming County Health departments are urging everyone to talk to their doctor about screening and testing options for colorectal cancer (also called colon cancer).

Friday, March 4th is Dress in Blue DayTM to raise awareness and show support to loved ones or in memory of those who have died from colorectal cancer.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with recommended screening, the number of people who die from colorectal cancer could be reduced by at least 60 percent.1

“When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it can often be cured,” said Dr. Gregory Collins, commissioner of the Wyoming County Health Department.

In some cases, screening can actually prevent the development of colorectal cancer by finding polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Yet colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in New York State. Each year, more than 10,000 New Yorkers develop colorectal cancer and more than 3,500 die as a result.

“Colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms, especially at first, which is why regular screening is needed to catch the disease in its earliest stages,” said Paul Pettit, Public Health director for Genesee and Orleans County Health departments.

“We want people to know there is more than one screening test for colorectal cancer and screening is easier than ever. The important thing to remember is to talk to your doctor, decide which screening test is right for you, and get screened. For anyone without a doctor or without insurance, the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Genesee and Orleans and the Cancer Services Program of Livingston and Wyoming can help.”

All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer. Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50. Anyone with a personal or family history of colorectal polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum), colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, is at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These folks should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested.

The CSP of Genesee /Orleans County ( 585-344-5497 or 585-798-9542) and Livingston / Wyoming (800-588-8670 or 585-786-8890) are part of the New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program, which offers colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured individuals in every county in the state.

To find a local Cancer Services Program near you, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/ or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262). For individuals insured through Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health plans, including those participating in the New York State of Health, colorectal cancer screening is covered with no cost to the patient.

To learn more about screening options, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/colorectal/screening.htm

For information about cancer screening or health department services contact,


March 27, 2011 - 1:37pm

A local cancer survivor is working hard to spread awareness about colorectal cancer with a certain message that he feels saved his life -- No matter how embarrassing or trivial one's symptoms may be, it’s important to talk to your doctor.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Corfu resident Walt Kolmetz is helping to publicize the importance of screening for the disease. He'll be featured on WNED-TV tomorrow at 9 p.m. (Monday, March 28) with another showing on April 11 on ThinkBright and Well TV, also at 9 p.m.

Kolmetz told The Batavian about his personal journey, which started when he applied for a new job. He went through a physical and found out he had high blood pressure.

“I’ve always been in good shape and an athlete, so I thought it was weird and went to my doctor,” he said.

His doctor, whose also a friend, prescribed medicine to try and lower the numbers and asked to see him again in a month. But his blood pressure was still quite high.

“At that point, I mentioned to my doctor that I’d been noticing traces of blood in my stool,” he said. “Yeah, it’s embarrassing but I figured I should just let him know.”

Kolmetz’s doctor suggested that even though he was 41, he should have a colonoscopy done.

“You know, they say you don’t need to get a colonoscopy until you’re 50. Doctors and insurance companies and all of them say it,” Kolmetz said. “Well, if we had waited until I was 50 I wouldn’t be sitting here today.”

He found out about his tumor the day of the test. It was a stage two tumor that was developing into a stage three. The doctor walked into the room, gave the bad news and left.

Kolmetz and his wife, Lisa, didn’t know what to do. They contacted Roswell Hospital and were told to expect a phone call with more information. Then, using a few contacts and friends he made during his days as a paramedic, Kolmetz called some people in the medical field to recommend where he should go.

He ended up going to Buffalo General Hospital to see Dr. Mamauhod Kuylat. Within one week, he was on the operating table having his tumor removed.

“Technically, you’re cancer free once the tumor is removed but chemotherapy and radiation are (used) to make sure there isn’t one cell left with the cancer in it,” Kolmetz explained.

He went through the arduous treatment while continuing to work. He recalls the difficulty he had dealing with a colostomy bag.

“It was hell,” he said. “And no one knew how to help. The doctors, nurses and even my at-home nurse just didn’t know.”

Kolmetz remembered that his greatest fear was the possibility of having a colostomy bag for the rest of his life. He remembers having seriously painful rashes and embarrassing moments.

“There should be some kind of support group or informational group for people who have to deal with colostomy bags,” he said. “I’d be more than willing to be involved because I can tell you firsthand that there’s a real need for a group like this.”

Although it was an awful 21 weeks, Kolmetz says it's all worth it for the opportunity to see his kids grow up and to enjoy this life as much as he can. He only hopes that his survival story can help others take charge of their health.

“I feel obligated because I’ve been blessed,” he said. “Even though I went through a lot with this, I need to try and enlighten people to say ‘Hey, just talk to your doctor, your body is trying to tell you things and don’t be embarrassed.'”

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