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One way to stand up to cancer is to prevent it in the first place. Monte Sereno in Silicon Valley is small, roughly one and half square miles. The city's population is 3,577. And it's ground zero to the world's first colon cancer-free zone.
Gay Crawford, a cancer society with the American Cancer Society, said, "It began with this small village and has really reached beyond the state of California now."
Five years ago, Monte Sereno, with the help of the American Cancer Society, established itself as a colon cancer-free zone. The goal was to raise awareness of the disease and the benefits of regular screenings. Early detection prevents more than 90 percent of colon cancers.
Oncologist Richard Adrouny said, "The polyp is the name of the game, and getting rid of the polyp can actually prevent colon cancer from ever being a problem in an individual."
The zone soon spread. Today it includes more than a dozen cities, four hospitals, non-profits, churches, even high-tech businesses throughout the valley.
Jim Harrington with Synpatics, said, "What we've done is communicate it through employee intranet, employee events and really made it part of our whole wellness system."
Sid Falukner, a St. Andrews Parishioner, said, "It saved my life. Screening saved my life. I did have to have an operation, but I tell people if you tested early enough that precancerous polyps can go away, and wouldn't that be a nice thing?"
Most people over 50 have not been screened. You can help turn your community into a colon cancer-free zone. Start by talking to your doctor about screening options, then tell a friend and stand up to cancer. Begin by discussing options with your doctor.