Pressure : 29.93 in
Dewpoint : 62.1 °
Wind : South
Health officials promote early colon cancer screening
Something to think about as you go through the month of March: March is the Colon Cancer Awareness month. South Heartland District Health Department Michele Bever and Colon Cancer Awareness advocate Gayle Hahn visited with News 5 about this topic.
Amy: Gayle, you weren't at the age yet where it's officially recommended to get a colon cancer screening, but you got one anyway.
Gayle Hahn: I got one anyway. A friend of mine - a very good friend of our family - her dad had passed away from colon cancer. He had been diagnosed at stage 4 and as she researched things she realized that had they caught it sooner possibly things could have ended differently for him. So she just made it a mission to make sure that everybody she knew got in and got one. I talked to my doctor about it who said, well, you know, you're not quite that age yet, but it's not going to hurt anything to do it early. And we set it up and we did it and, boy, am I so happy I did it. Now I'm encouraging other people to do it.
Amy: Michelle, tell us a little about what people may not know about colon cancer?
Michele Bever: Colon cancer - if we get screening early, if it's detected early there's a 90% survival rate. It's a five year survival rate. About 39% of adults in Nebraska get screened early. So we're promoting early screening so that we can have early detection and save lives.
Amy: It's so preventable if you get that early detection. And a couple of things that you're helping people get that early detection. There are some free kits being handed out in the area?
Michele: There are some different ways that you can have colon cancer screening. One of those is to look for blood in the stool so it's called an FOBT kit and people can look for these coupons in newspapers and other places. You can get free colon cancer kits at your area pharmacy in all four counties - Adams, Clay, Nuckolls and Webster counties. You can also get them at the health department and health fairs.
Amy: Fantastic. A lot of people are kind of scared when you think about colon cancer and going to get a screening. This is a different way to start with and start that process.
Michele: Right, this is an easy way. You can do at it home and you don't have to go through the medical procedure, but it might be something that gives you an inkling that you have cancer. Some people might, when you turn 50, go ahead and get the colonoscopy.
Amy: Tell us where people can go for more information about colon cancer.
Michele: For more information they can contact the health department website at www.southheartlandhealth.org
KHASTV on Facebook