Statewide News Release Media Contact: Beth Fisher or Barbara Fox, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3101 or 3102
Learn More About Colon Cancer During No Shave November
52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign Spotlight: Colon Cancer Prevention and Treatment
FRANKFORT, Ky. (November 29, 2017) – As part of “No Shave November,” the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is emphasizing the importance of colon cancer awareness and prevention. The effort is part of the ongoing 52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign.
Colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. despite being considered the most easily preventable cancer. Screening and early diagnosis are important for long-term survival, along with healthy lifestyle habits including a healthy diet, regular exercise and avoiding smoking and other forms of tobacco.
“Although screening is the best way to decrease the risk of colon cancer, improving your overall health with a few healthy living style choices will decrease your chances of developing colon cancer,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard, acting DPH commissioner.
Colon cancers often develop from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Detection of the pre-cancerous polyps can be found through screenings such as colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, barium enema or virtual colonoscopy. Screenings for colon cancer should be done on men and women starting at 45 to 50 years of age and thereafter as deemed necessary by your health care provider and screening results.
Early signs and symptoms of colon may include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Change in bowel movement frequency
- Change in stool size
- Unexplained anemia (low red blood cells)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Frequent abdominal pain
- Constant tiredness
To learn about how you can get screened for colon cancer, visit the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program website.
52 Weeks of Public Health
Throughout the 52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign, DPH will highlight the important work of public health professionals as well as spread awareness about statewide health issues. Additional information about the campaign is available on the DPH website as well as the CHFS Facebook page where Kentuckians are encouraged to like and share public health awareness posts.
No Shave November
The goal of No-Shave November is to grow awareness by embracing one’s hair, which many cancer patients lose, and letting it grow wild and free. Participants can donate the money they typically spend on shaving and grooming to educate about cancer prevention, save lives, and aid those fighting the battle. For more information or to register, visit https://no-shave.org/.
The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state’s human services and healthcare programs, including the Department for Medicaid Services, the Department for Community Based Services, the Department for Public Health, and the Department for Behavioral Health, Developmental and Intellectual Disabilities. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full- and part-time employees located across the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.