UVA Health’s Cynthia M. Yoshida, MD, is one of six winners of a national award recognizing healthcare providers and institutions for their work to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.
Yoshida, a gastroenterologist and medical lead of UVA Cancer Center’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Program, will receive the 2021 80% In Every Community National Achievement Award on Tuesday from the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. Founded by the American Cancer Society and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the awards are part of the roundtable’s efforts to reach 80% colorectal cancer screening rates nationally among adults ages 50 and older.
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third-most common cancer in the U.S., with almost 150,000 cases projected for 2021. However, colorectal cancer is highly preventable and treatable, as screening enables polyps to be removed before they develop into cancer or detects cancer in its early stages.
“I am honored to receive this recognition,” Yoshida said. “This work is a team effort – I am incredibly fortunate to collaborate with amazing colleagues from the UVA Cancer Center, the Virginia Colorectal Cancer Round Table and the American Cancer Society who are ‘all in’ committed to improving CRC screening rates and saving lives in Virginia.”
In honoring Yoshida, the roundtable cited her work in improving access to quality colorectal cancer screening for UVA Health team members, patients and under-resourced communities across Virginia. For example, Yoshida and her colleagues have helped establish a free colorectal cancer screening program that has served more than 400 uninsured patients in rural Virginia. This program is partnering with Central Virginia Community Health Services to ensure timely follow-up to positive fecal immunochemical tests, a noninvasive initial exam for colorectal cancer, with free or discounted colonoscopies.
Yoshida also co-chairs the Virginia Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, has served on several committees for the American Gastroenterological Association and is active in the American College of Gastroenterology and American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.
“Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful tools for preventing colorectal cancer or finding it early,” said Richard Wender, MD, chair of Family Medicine and Community Health at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and NCCRT chair. “Yet screening rates remain low in many communities, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further challenged efforts to address inadequate screening. We are honored to recognize the dedication of these community leaders that are working tirelessly to increase the number of people that have access to life-saving colorectal cancer screening, especially in disproportionately affected groups.”
Yoshida will receive a $1,000 prize to support her work to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.
For more information on who should be screened for colon cancer or to schedule an appointment, visit uvahealth.com/services/colon-health/colon-cancer-screening. The page also features a video of Yoshida discussing colon cancer screening guidelines with her colleague Andrew Wolf, MD.