In a recent study released by the CDC, the report showed that those living in rural areas had higher death rates from cancer than those in urban areas. This study showed there were a few contributing factors to the increased death rates: increased smoking rates, obesity, lack of physical activity, and reduced access to care and an on-time diagnosis.
This information is particularly important to our work at the Colon Cancer Prevention Project as we work in these underserved communities across Kentucky and beyond. Through our efforts to eliminate preventable death and suffering from colon cancer, we have seen the screening rates go from 33 percent in 2004 to over 70 percent today. With this, one less person is dying per day in Kentucky from colon cancer.
Our work encompasses direct-to-consumer information and awareness efforts, educational programs for health care providers, policy and advocacy work at the state level, and a vibrant online presence.
We know that ending colorectal cancer cannot happen alone, so we have partnered with like-minded organizations to pursue outcomes that lead to increased screening rates, removal of barriers to colon cancer screenings and effective policy change at the state level. This leads to reduced incidence rates and increased rates of screenings.
This study is not discouraging but empowering and only increases our determination to pursue eliminating this preventable disease. With our focus solely on prevention of colorectal cancer and our proven track record of success over the years, we will continue to remove barriers to colorectal cancer screenings by providing various screening options to consumers,serving as navigators to connect those at the highest risk to providers of colonoscopies, and working with state legislators to pass legislation that increases screening rates.
We will also begin focusing on early-life behavior changes that can lead to decreased risk for colorectal cancer. These areas include support of smoking cessation programs, healthy eating and active lifestyle changes, better understanding of family history, and greater knowledge in the general public of colorectal cancer symptoms.
We appreciate your continued support in our work in preventing colorectal cancer. Keep kicking butt!
P.S. If you’re wondering how you can support the important work we do, we’d love it if you would consider participating in one of our upcoming events.
The Kicking Butt 5ks in Louisville and Lexington
The Colon One Golf Scramble