Steuben County Cancer Services Program urges everyone to “Go Blue” for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March. 

Steuben County Cancer Services Program urges everyone to “Go Blue” for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March.  
Towns across New York State are raising awareness about this preventable cancer by turning their Main Streets Blueand hosting colorectal cancer screening events throughout March.  
Colorectal cancer - cancer that begins in the colon or rectum - is one of the most common cancers among New Yorkers.    It is estimated that one in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.  “Each year in New York State, more than 10,000 people develop cancer of the colon and rectum, and nearly 3,500 New Yorkers die from this disease,” says Bobbi Gunn; Outreach Coordinator for the Cancer Services Program.  However, a large number of New Yorkers are still not aware of their risk and many are not being screened at recommended intervals.  Colorectal cancer often can be prevented. Regular screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
All men and women age 50 and older need to get screened for colorectal cancer.  “Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50.    In addition, with a personal or family history of colon polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum) or colon cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer.   People at higher risk for colorectal cancer may need earlier or more frequent tests than other people; these individuals should talk to their doctor about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested,” says Bobbi Gunn.
The New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program Partnerships offer colorectal cancer screening to eligible uninsured women and men in every NYS county and borough.  
Kickoff for this event is Friday March 2, 2012; National Dress in Blue Day, at 10 am in Pulteney Park with Assemblyman Phil Palmesano cutting a blue ribbon officially opening the Main Streets Go Blue event and speaking a few words.  The Cancer Services staff will also be available in the old Bath Florist building; 29 Liberty Street on Friday March 2ndfrom 10-6pm and Thursday March 15thfrom 10-6pm for anyone to come in and speak with us about our program and get enrolled if they are eligible.
Various businesses on Liberty and Steuben Streets will be displaying “Go Blue” materials in support of the goal of the Cancer Services Program to educate about the importance of Colorectal Cancer screenings.
For questions and further information please call the Cancer Services Program at 607-324-8690 or toll free 1-877-778-6857.