Archive for tag: awareness

Colon Cancer Awareness Month

2013-03-12_ribbonI want to remind everyone that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. On March 1, I had the privilege of attending a health fair in Naperville sponsored by the American Cancer Society. I spoke and distributed colon cancer awareness materials to over 150 individuals. 

Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Illinois claiming 2,500 lives annually. Yet it's one of the only cancers that can be prevented through screenings that allow doctors to find polyps growing in the colon and remove them before they turn cancerous. 

It is recommended that if you are 50 years old or older, you are due for a colonoscopy. Nine out of every 10 cases of colon cancer are found in this age group. If you have a family history, I recommend having the conversation with your doctor that you may need to be screened even earlier. 

The good news is that colonoscopy is covered by insurance once every 10 years, and sometimes five years if recommended by your doctor. Insurance plans like Medicare and Medicaid will pay for preventive treatment. The American Cancer Society is working to provide free colon cancer screening for patients who lack medical coverage to pay for the test; free tests are available for those without health insurance through partnerships with hospitals across Illinois. Among the hospitals now offering free exams are Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Rush University Medical Center, Southern Illinois Healthcare, Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and the University of Chicago Hospitals. 

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The American Cancer Society's Epidemiology Research Program is currently inviting men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 years who have no personal history of cancer to join their Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) that will begin in April. The ultimate goal is to enroll at least 300,000 adults from various racial/ethnic backgrounds across the U.S. By joining CPS-3, you can help researchers understand how to prevent cancer, which will save lives and give people more of their most precious resource--time. 

If you or someone you know is interested in participating in the study, please contact your local cancer society. The nearest local for Dupage is the DuPage Regional Office  at 1801 Meyers Road, Suite 100, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181. The phone number is 630-932-1141. They are open Monday-Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please contact Lauren Brandmeyer for additional information regarding the study. 

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