Colorectal cancer awareness events set for area churches UofL Kentucky Cancer Program, Kentucky African Americans Against Cancer sponsor programs

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    The Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) at the University of Louisville is teaming up with Kentucky African Americans Against Cancer (KAAAC) and several area churches to drive home the importance of colorectal cancer awareness.

    The KCP and KAAAC will sponsor events at Louisville’s Forest Tabernacle Baptist Church, Bates Memorial Baptist Church and Coke Memorial United Methodist Church during the month of March, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

    Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year 136,830 people will be diagnosed and 50,310 will die from this disease.

    Among African Americans, the incidence of colorectal cancer is more frequent. Studies have shown that since 1985, colorectal cancer rates dipped 20-25 percent for whites, while rates have gone up for African-American men and stayed the same for African-American women. Overall, African Americans are 38-43 percent more likely to die from colorectal cancer than are whites. African Americans also tend to be diagnosed at later stages and to have worse prognoses when compared with whites.

    With regular screening, however, colorectal cancer can be found early, when treatment is most effective. In many cases, screening can prevent cancer by finding and removing polyps before they become cancer. If cancer is present, earlier detection means a chance at a longer life.

    The KCP-KAAAC events are:

    • Saturday, March 18: Forest Tabernacle Baptist Church, 4205 E. Indian Trail, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.: Free FIT kits (take-home stool test) will be provided. Mammograms for breast cancer screening also will be offered with advance appointment by calling 502-852-6318.
    • Sunday, March 19: Bates Memorial Baptist Church, 620 E. Lampton St., beginning at 8 a.m. service: “Dress in Blue Sunday” with education and giveaways at all services. Worshipers are encouraged to wear blue for colorectal cancer awareness.
    • Sunday, March 26: Coke Memorial United Methodist Church, 428 E. Breckinridge St., 11 a.m. service: Another “Dress in Blue Sunday” with education and giveaways at the 11 a.m. service and with worshipers encouraged to wear blue for colorectal cancer awareness.

    For additional information, contact KCP Cancer Control Specialist Janikaa C. Sherrod, 502-852-6318, janikaa.sherrod@louisville.edu.

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    Jill Scoggins is proud of her role as an academic communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience with universities in four states. At UofL, she manages communications for several departments, divisions, institutes and centers within the School of Medicine. Her areas include women’s health, pediatrics, family medicine, geriatric medicine, cardiology and cardiovascular surgery and oncology/hematology, among others.