PULASKI, NY – Oswego County Opportunities’ Cancer Services Program wrapped up its Colorectal Cancer Awareness month campaign by creating the first-ever human blue ribbon in Oswego County.
Approximately 35 people, dressed in blue, gathered at the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department, 12 Lake St., to form the ribbon.
“It was a great experience,” said CSP Coordinator, Carolyn Handville. “We were pleased with the turnout and excited to have accomplished our goals to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, form the first human blue ribbon and more importantly, to distribute free colorectal screening kits and information about the many other free cancer screenings that OCO’s Cancer Service Program offers.”
Throughout the month of March the OCO’s Cancer Services Program was busy spreading the word about the availability of free colorectal screening kits and other cancer screenings that the program offers to uninsured Oswego County residents.
“We partnered with businesses along North Jefferson Street to help Pulaski’s main street ‘Go Blue’ to raise awareness of colorectal cancer in Oswego County and encourage people to receive their necessary cancer screenings. We provided the businesses with blue lights and program information to distribute to their customers to educate them on the importance of early detection of cancer,” added Handville.
The high point of OCO’s Cancer Services Program’s “Main Streets Go Blue” campaign was March 26 as community members came together to form the first human blue ribbon in Oswego County.
In addition, representatives from OCO’s Cancer Services Program distributed free colorectal cancer screening kits and enrollers from OCO’s Facilitated Enrollment Department met with community members to determine if they were eligible for Family Health Plus or Medicaid.
With all of the exposure and promotion that breast cancer receives, Handville said it was time for colorectal cancer to receive the same attention.
“We want people to talk as openly about colorectal cancer as they do breast cancer. Many people are not aware of their risk for colorectal cancer and are not being screened at recommended intervals,” she explained.
Excluding skin cancer, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the US. It is estimated that one in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
Each year in New York State, more than 10,400 people develop colorectal cancer, and nearly 3,600 New Yorkers die from this disease.
Regular screenings are especially important for the early detection of colorectal cancer.
If colorectal cancer is caught in its early stages, it has a 91% survival rate, compared to the 10% if caught late.
According to Handville, OCO’s CSP enrolled 20 new clients into the program and provided colorectal cancer screening kits to more than a dozen people this month alone.
“It has been a successful March and we would not have been able to do it if it wasn’t for the support we received from our community partners, the Ringgold Pulaski Fire Department, and the businesses along North Jefferson Street in Pulaski who participated in our Go Blue campaign,” she said.
OCO’s Cancer Services Program Partnership consists of 21 provider offices throughout the county.
The partnership works diligently together providing quality breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to uninsured community members.
To learn more about the partnership, call 315-342-0888 ext 1455.
For more information, visit www.oco.org