New Partnership, Strategies to Increase Access to Colon Cancer Screenings
For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD Public Information Officer, (509) 324-1539
SPOKANE, Wash. – October 29, 2012 – Spokane Regional Health District announced today that its Breast, Cervical and Colon Health Program (BCCHP), along with Spokane-based Yakima Valley Farm Worker Clinics—Riverstone Family Health and Spokane Falls Family Clinic—launched a new project to increase colon cancer screenings for underserved residents in northeast Spokane.
Through financial support from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Walmart, the project will involve a systematic approach to colon cancer screenings that utilizes trained community health workers, both inside the clinic system and out in the community, to help identify, refer and follow-up with residents due for colon cancer screening.
According to ACS, more than half of cancer deaths could be prevented if more emphasis were placed on early detection and healthier lifestyles, including getting recommended cancer screening tests. Additionally, with many types of cancer, including colon, often times there are no warning signs. Simple screening tests can find colon cancer earlier, when treatment is easier, and early treatment often means living longer.
In a time when many health care providers are already extremely busy, many patients only go to a provider when they have a problem. Community health workers can create important linkages that may assist more people in overcoming barriers that affect their ability to obtain health information and access preventive medical care, supporting the health care team.
The screening recommendation for colon cancer is, starting at age 50, to have a:
- Take-home stool sample test (yearly), or
- Colonoscopy (every 10 years, if negative)
More information can be found at www.srhd.org. Spokane Regional Health District’s Web site also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.