Community Event Successfully Raises Awareness about Colorectal Cancer

Lanham, Maryland – On Sunday, March 17, Doctors Community Hospital hosted its third annual colorectal cancer awareness walk/run at Schrom Hills Park in Greenbelt, MD.  This year, Mayor Emmitt Jordan, City of Greenbelt, helped to kick off this community event.

"We want to empower people with the knowledge needed to make well-educated decisions about their health.  That includes educating them about colorectal cancer, which is among the top four cancers with a high mortality rate in Prince George’s County,” stated Kwanza Graham-Sykes, program administrator at Doctors Community Hospital’s Cancer Prevention, Education, Screening and Treatment (CPEST) Program.   

Colorectal cancer is often preventable and curable with early detection. However, the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 2,620 diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer and 880 related deaths in 2019. “These startling numbers are a few of the reasons why awareness and education is so important,” explained Graham-Sykes.  “Equipped with the right information and access to the right tools, people can improve their health.  At the same time, they can educate others within their sphere of influence – creating a cycle of improved health and wellness.”

In addition to taking part in a walk and run around Schrom Hills Park, participants learned about the importance of colonoscopy screenings and the availability of other free health resources at the hospital.  As mentioned by Mayor Jordan, “We are so fortunate in Greenbelt to have a great institution like Doctors Hospital so close to us with all of the outreach activities, screenings and what not.  They make it a lot easier to maintain a healthy lifestyle.”

Facts about Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is a disease that often occurs in the colon or rectum. A colonoscopy screening is recommended for men and women starting at age 50 or earlier if they have a family history of the disease.  Also, African Americans should start at age 45.  Though some people who have this disease may not experience symptoms, a few may include:

  • Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement)
  • Lump in the abdomen
  • Cramps or pain in the abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Flat or ribbon-shaped stool

In addition to colonoscopies, people may help prevent this disease by:

  • Being physically active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Transitioning to a healthy eating lifestyle
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Not smoking

To improve access to life-saving screenings, Doctors Community Hospital provides free colonoscopies throughout the year. At no cost to them, community members may qualify if they are:

  • Prince George’s County residents
  • Ages 50 to 75
  • Younger than age 50 with a family history of colorectal cancer
  • Uninsured or underinsured

For more information, contact Doctors Community Hospital’s Cancer Prevention, Education, Screening and Treatment (CPEST) program at 301-324-4968 or 301-552-7705.


Doctors Community Health System is a network of medical and surgical services provided throughout Prince George’s County and in Anne Arundel County. At the heart of this network is its flagship – Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, Maryland. To complement the hospital’s high-quality and comprehensive services, the system has more than a dozen centers of care in Bowie, Camp Springs, Crofton, District Heights, Hyattsville, Lanham, Largo, Laurel, Riverdale and Temple Hills. Also, the hospital is a primary stroke center by the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems. The system has experienced physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who specialize in:

  • Ambulatory Surgery
  • Breast Health
  • Diabetes Care
  • Diabetes Education
  • Digestive Disease Care
  • Emergency Services
  • Imaging Services
  • Infusion Care
  • Orthopedic Services
  • Primary Care and Family Medicine
  • Radiation Oncology
  • Rehabilitation Program
  • Sleep Care
  • Surgical Services
  • Transitional Care
  • Wound Care

For more information, visit or call 301-DCH-4YOU (301-324-4968).