BREAST & COLON CANCER AWARENESS
Working on posting about the topic of breast cancer I recently inquired about breast cancer materials at a recent doctor’s visit. In addition, to a wealth of materials that I received from the doctor he informed me that there were services that were available for our community that, like me, many had never heard about. He pointed out the contact information of the Clinical Nurse Navigator for Roper Sait Francis Healthcare that was among the materials he had just handed me. I reached out to see what more I could learn. I was surprised to discover that not only do they offer breast cancer screenings but also screenings for colon cancer. Two free screenings offered in our area, where the need is great and yet this valuable service is underutilized by our community.
Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. In 2017, there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the US. Of those, an estimated 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,410 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. About 2,470 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2017. About 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die in 2017 from breast cancer!
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. It is the third most common cause of cancer-related death, and in 2017, 95,520 new diagnoses are expected to occur in the United States (U.S.). A healthy lifestyle with a high-fiber, low-fat diet can help prevent colon cancer, and screening can detect it in the early stages. Also, advances in diagnosis, screening, and treatment have led to steady improvements in survival.
Believing that everyone should have access to potentially life-saving cancer screenings, Roper St. Francis, along with Bon Secours Mission Grant and the Hank and Laurel Greer Colorectal Cancer Program, offer free breast and colon cancer screening to the uninsured or underinsured. Registration is required for the screenings. To register, call (843) 402-CARE. The next event is Tuesday, October 24, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Roper St. Francis Cancer Center on the Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital campus (2085 Henry Tecklenburg Drive, Charleston 29414). I made the phone call and talked with a very helpful and kind woman. It only took a few minutes to register for both screenings and she answered all the questions I had. I’ve signed up and hope to see you there!
WHO QUALIFIES FOR FREE BREAST AND COLON CANCER SCREENING
To participate in the breast cancer screening, you must be:
- Age 18 or older and not have had a breast exam in the last 12 months. Financial assistance will be available for mammograms for those who qualify as well as onsite scheduling.
To participate in the colon cancer screening, you must be:
- Age 50 and older, or if you are African American, age 45 and older.
- Or your age must be 10 years prior to the age of a first-degree relative having colorectal cancer. For
example, if your mother had colorectal cancer at age 45 you would need a screening at age 35.
Not lucky enough to live in the South Carolina Lowcountry? Check with your local doctors, cancer centers, hospital, or clinic to find out if this service is available in your area.
This post was created as a supplement to Understanding Breast Cancer. Be sure to visit this post to learn more about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Breast Cancer.