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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and King’s Daughters Medical Center and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital are partnering with several other organizations to bring a special event to Ashland Town Center mall from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 7. 

A highlight of the event will include a giant, inflatable colon visitors can walk through (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) to learn about cancer and other diseases affecting the intestinal tract. 

“Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in Kentucky and in the U.S.,” said Trish Lewis, RN, of KDMC’s cancer program. “About 60 percent of these deaths could be prevented if everyone age 50 and older got screened regularly. When colon cancer is detected early, the survival rate is 90 percent. And, simple lifestyle changes can help prevent this cancer from developing in the first place,” she noted.

“We partnered with the Kentucky Cancer Program to bring the colon to Ashland last year and it was a huge success.  Hundreds of curious people walked through the inflatable colon to see what it was like.  Partnering with more agencies and organizations to make this year’s event larger will allow us to educate more people in our community about colon cancer,” said Diana Williams, RN, director of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital’s Healthy Community Services. 

In addition to the giant colon, the event will also feature: 

  • Free health screenings including total cholesterol, blood sugar, hemoglobin, blood pressure, glaucoma, bone density and Derma Scan for skin cancer
  • Education on tobacco cessation, nutrition and exercise
  • ColoCare at-home screening kits to be given away
  • Booths and materials from the event’s co-sponsors including the Kentucky Cancer Program, Greenup County Health Department, Pike County Health Department, Kentucky Home Place and the American Cancer Society. 

No appointments are required for screenings. Friday, March 7 is also National Dress in Blue Day to generate awareness about colorectal cancer. Event attendees are encouraged to come in blue. 

“Let’s face it. Colon cancer involves a portion of the body people often don’t want to discuss in everyday conversation,” said Lewis. “We must do all we can to speak up, educate ourselves and others about prevention and early detection of this cancer.”

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