March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Jefferson Community Health & Life has joined the annual statewide effort organized by the Nebraska Cancer Coalition and Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force to heighten awareness of lifesaving colon cancer screening during Colon Cancer Awareness month and Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 4.
On Friday, March 4, JCH&L staff members will have the opportunity to wear denim for a $5 donation to the Nebraska Cancer Coalition. All staff are encouraged to wear blue that day to raise awareness for colon cancer screening.
Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer. Incidences of colon cancer diagnosis and death remain higher in Nebraska compared to overall U.S. rates. Additionally, rates of colon cancer have increased in recent decades among individuals younger than 50. So much so that the official recommended age for colon cancer screening was recently reduced from 50 to 45.
“Colon cancer screening is critical, as symptoms often only become prevalent in later stages of the disease when it’s much more difficult to fight back. It’s important for Nebraskans ages 45 and older speak with their health care provider about screening as soon as possible, especially those who have postponed appointments because of the pandemic,” said NC2 President Dr. Alan Thorson. “Colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable, but you don’t know if you don’t go.”
There are multiple safe, affordable options available for screening, including at-home test kits. Individuals are encouraged to contact their primary care provider to start a conversation about screening. Various screening opportunities are available, including colonoscopy, which is made available at JCH&L by Gastroenterology Specialties, PC, on a monthly basis.
Additionally, anyone wanting to support the statewide awareness effort is invited to wear blue on Friday, March 4 and share on social media platforms using the hashtags #DressInBlueNE and #FightBackNE.
Nebraska residents aged 45-75 years old who meet specific income guidelines may be eligible for free or low-cost colon cancer screening. For more information, visit the Nebraska Colon Cancer Screening Program website or call (800) 532-2227.