March 2017 • Volume 10, No. 3
From the Editor

March is colorectal cancer awareness month, so this month we are focusing on that issue.

Just last month a new study was released (see below) showing that new cases of colon cancer and rectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among young adults, even though better screening has led to a drop in the rate of increase of new cases among older people.

Scroll down for news, videos, and an all-new crossword puzzle on colorectal anatomy and surgical techniques. As well as, of course, jobs we’ve collected for you and NIFA’s favorite links.

Our Student in the Spotlight is Jessica Huckins, RN, BSN, of Gillette, WY.



Julie Lancaster, Editor


Study Finds Sharp Rise in Colon Cancer and Rectal Cancer Rates Among Young Adults

A study led by American Cancer Society researchers and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Feb. 20, 2017, reports an increase in the rates at which new cases of colon cancer and rectal cancer are occurring among young and middle-aged adults in the US. “Once age is taken into account, those born in 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer compared to people born around 1950, when risk was lowest,” reads a report on the American Cancer Society’s website.
Read more…

Sulfidogenic Bacteria Linked To Higher Colorectal Cancer Risk in Black Patients

Rex Gaskins, PhD, an animal sciences professor at University of Illinois, is studying sulfidogenic bacteria in the human gut microbiome. While these bacteria do normally occur, Gaskins and colleagues have found an overabundance of the bacteria in blacks compared with non-Hispanic whites. “We are now beginning to connect the dots between these dietary factors and one’s risk of developing colon cancer risk,” Gaskins said in a press release.
Read more…

Penn State Colorectal Diseases Biobank Links Genetics and Colorectal Cancer 

“What if your family’s DNA could become the blueprint for your very own precise and personalized treatment for colorectal cancer?” writes Scott Gilbert in the Penn State News. “Or, better yet, what if it could be used to help doctors screen you earlier for the disease, before it has a chance to strike?”
Gilbert goes on to describe cutting-edge research at Penn State College of Medicine that is revealing how genetics play a role in treating this disease.
Read more…


Laparoscopic Right Colectomy
Step-by-step Laparoscopic Right Colectomy by Todd D. Francine, MD, MPH, published by Medtronic.
Watch now…

Laparoscopic Sigmoid Colectomy
Step-by-step Sigmoid Colectomy by Bradley J. Champagne, MD FACS, FASCRS, published by Medtronic.
Watch now…

Perioperative Puzzle: Colorectal Cancer Crossword

Check out  this month’s all-new crossword puzzle on colorectal cancer.

When you’re ready to check your answers, follow this link to see how well you did. Good luck!



Colorectal smartphone apps: Opportunities and Risks
Not an app, but a study of 68 colorectal-themed apps on the market: their benefits and drawbacks.
Read more…

The Colon Cancer Podcast by Lee Silverstein
This podcast interviews colon cancer survivors, caregivers and medical professionals who share information and provide hope and inspiration to those touched by colon cancer. (Requires iTunes)
Listen now…


Student Spotlight: Jessica Huckins

Name: Jessica Huckins

Credentials: RN, BSN

Student Status: SutureStar workshop, Jan. 2017

Current Position:  Perioperative Educator and Orthopedic Specialty Coordinator, Campbell County Health, Gillette, WY.

Where did you get your RN degree, and do you have a specialty?
Dickinson State University – Dickinson, ND. Specialty: surgery.

Why did you choose perioperative nursing?
During nursing school I had an excellent rotation in surgery. My first job out of nursing school was in CVOR. Total years in surgery: 14 years.

What is one of the most funny or scary moments you’ve seen at the table?
Oh, boy! So many, and may not be appropriate to mention. I dropped a 5.0 Prolene suture and under my breath muttered a cuss word. Dr. McGregor, a Scottish guy, stopped the entire procedure and said, “Now look, Jessica. I don’t know what bowling alley you frequent, but that language isn’t acceptable here!” I was mortified!

What is one technique or RNFA trick you’ve learned from NIFA that you will use for life?
Loop knot. Subcuticular stitching. I thought the simulations were very creative and pretty realistic.

How do you feel having your RNFA will impact your life/career?Practice Practice Practice at home! Buy yarn and bring with, especially on road trips and be in the passenger seat.  Don’t text & drive!


Click here for the RNFA job postings we’ve collected for you this month.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this newsletter are strictly those of their respective authors and do not necessarily represent the views of NIFA. NIFA does not give any express or implied warranty as to the accuracy of statements made by our contributors and does not accept any liability for error or omission. It is the responsibility of all perioperative personnel to work within and adhere to their facility bylaws and individual scope of practice.