Colon Cancer Exhibit Returns to Prestonsburg

March 27, 2018
Prestonsburg, Ky. –For the 3rdth year, Highlands Health System and the Kentucky Cancer Program provided a free colon cancer exhibit, screening event, and awareness day on March 22nd. While walking through a large, inflatable colon may seem like a joke to some, the message is not: Colon cancer affects those of all ages and can be prevented.
 
The Incredible Colon is quite the visual for those wishing to learn more about colorectal cancer. Participants walk through the traveling 16-foot inflatable that realistically presents the stages of colorectal cancer, Crohn’s disease, polyps, and more. Along with the tour of the Inflatable Colon, Highlands brought together community vendors that offered health and wellness information, referrals, and screening opportunities. Markey Cancer Center, of which Highlands is an Affiliate, registered those that qualified for a take-home colon cancer screening test (also known as FIT Kits).
 
Teresa Isaac, employee of Highlands’ Finance Department, credits the event with saving her life. "It was at this event in 2016 that I walked through and talked to the ladies from the Health Department who convinced me to have a colonoscopy. I did in late March of 2016 and found out I had stage three rectal cancer. I'm blessed to be here, and so thankful to Highlands for promoting the awareness of such a deadly disease.”
 
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S., and Kentucky leads the way in incidence rates nationwide. As of 2014, the most recent statistical year, nearly 50 out of every 100,000 people in Kentucky were diagnosed with colon cancer. In other states, the rate ranges from 30 to 45 cases per 100,000. High rates of colon cancer are often attributed to the myth that if you do not show symptoms, you do not need a screening. In fact, early warning signs of colon cancer can go completely unnoticed by an individual, and can only be detected during a colonoscopy. The majority of colon cancer is preventable with regular screenings starting at age 50, or earlier if you have a family history.
 
Speak to your family physician about scheduling a colonoscopy today. If you do not have a family physician or need more information, visit hrmc.org for more information.