The Cancer Services Program of Monroe County, part of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Center for Community Health, is on a mission in March to make the community healthier. In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, it is partnering with community businesses and organizations to get a total of 100 men screened for colorectal cancer.Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the U.S. It is estimated that one in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime. Each year in New York state, more than 10,400 people develop cancer of the colon and rectum, and nearly 3,600 New Yorkers die from this disease. In Monroe County, 370 residents are diagnosed with colon cancer each year, and about 140 die from this preventable disease.
“Early detection is perhaps the most important weapon in the fight against cancer,” said Candice A. Lucas, director of Community Health Services at the URMC Center for Community Health. “Regular screenings are especially important for the early detection of colorectal cancer, which is preventable, treatable and beatable when caught early through screening.”
The Cancer Services Program of Monroe County recommends that all men and women age 50 and older get screened for colorectal cancer. People with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum) or those with other high-risk conditions should talk to their health care provider about beginning regular screening at an earlier age. “It is important to talk to your doctor about when to begin screening and how often you should be screened,” Lucas said.
For people without health insurance, the Cancer Services Program of Monroe County offers take-home screening kits (FIT kits). This month you can get a kit at a number of different community events, or interested individuals can call (585) 224-3070 to have one mailed to them. A FIT kit looks for blood in the stool, which can indicate cancer early. This simple, take-home test is non-invasive, there is no prep, and there is no cost to the participant. The completed kit is returned in a postage-paid envelope.The community can learn more about preventing colorectal cancer during March:
- The Razorsharks’ March home games will be dedicated to raising awareness about colorectal cancer, providing free tickets to the April 1 home game to all who complete and return FIT tests by March 31.
- A “Bowling for Blue” clinic will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, March 16, and a senior’s tournament will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, March 23, both at Clover Lanes, 2750 Monroe Ave. Guests will be treated to appearances by Rochester Razorsharks team members on March 16.
- Local barbershops and salons in the city will have information on hand about colon cancer.
The Cancer Services Program of Monroe County is the only comprehensive breast, cervical and colorectal cancer prevention and screening program in Monroe County. This state-funded program pays for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings for uninsured men and women ages 40 and older who cannot pay for screenings, and who meet income eligibility and age requirements.
For more information about the March events or about the Cancer Services Program of Monroe County, please visit www.urmc.rochester.edu/csp or contact Candice Lucas at (585) 224-3070 or firstname.lastname@example.org.