Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Supports Colorectal Screening at Capital Health

April 22, 2011



Capital Health Foundation recently received a $50,000 grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company to continue the Colorectal Cancer Screening and Education Program. This program, which began in 2008 through a partnership with the American Cancer Society and was originally funded from a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb, helps Trenton residents fight colon cancer through education and screenings.

Thanks to this generous gift, Capital Health's Regional Cancer Center will be able to provide free colonoscopies to 100 more medically underserved patients in Trenton communities.

"Colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women and frequently begins as a polyp that becomes cancerous. Therefore, detecting and removing a polyp at an early stage decreases the risk of a cancer significantly," said Rona Remstein, RN, BSN, BA, Director of Oncology Services at Capital Health. "However, many Trenton residents are without health insurance so regular cancer screenings are not an affordable option."

Based upon the Program's past outcomes, Capital Health anticipates that between 40 and 50 percent of those screened will have one or more polyps that need to be removed. Between October 2008 and December 2010, Capital Health performed a total of 360 colonoscopies made possible through the original grant. They found that 25 percent of patients had cancerous polyps.

"The first two years of this program helped provide preventative healthcare in the form of colon cancer screening," said Dr. Armen Simonian, a gastroenterologist at Capital Health. "We succeeded in either curing those with early colon cancer or prevented future cancers from developing by removing precancerous lesions."

"Bristol-Myers Squibb is pleased to support Capital Health's efforts to increase awareness of colorectal cancer and provide screenings to residents of the Trenton area," said Anthony C. Hooper, President, U.S. Japan and Intercontinental, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. "Our goal is to reduce health disparities and improve patient outcomes by strengthening community efforts to make health care tools available to those in need. By using our grant to provide free colorectal cancer screenings, Capital Health is helping hundreds of at-risk patients who would otherwise have little or no means of obtaining a potentially life-saving procedure."

The program is available to patients at Capital Health's Family Health Center, located at 433 Bellevue Avenue in Trenton.
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