At The Medical Center, we believe that the fight against cancer begins with empowerment - knowing how to prevent cancer and how to detect it in its early stages. Through a variety of avenues, The Medical Center educates Southcentral Kentucky on the importance of cancer prevention and early detection.
In 2012, The Medical Center Cancer Committee selected Colorectal Cancer as its primary outreach prevention program. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that colorectal cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States among cancer that affect men and women. CDC Screen for Life reports that if everyone aged 50 years or older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided. Kentucky Health Facts reports that Kentucky has an age-adjusted annual death rate (deaths per thousand) of 20 and Warren County specific is 17.
The Medical Center worked in conjunction with the Kentucky Cancer Program to promote awareness of colorectal cancer prevention in the community. Educational materials with focus on colonoscopy screening were provided throughout the year at The Medical Center Health & Wellness Center which averages 800 patron visits a month. Eleven different employer health fairs as well as community events including The Medical Center's Women's Conference and Men's Health Tune Up offered additional opportunities for education.
The Medical Center's Health & Wellness Expo held in January 2012, prevention information and colorectal fecal occult blood kits were provided to attendees. The "Incredible Colon," a walk through inflatable visual of the colon, offered a unique educational experience. Approximately 1,500 individuals attended the Expo.
"Dress in Blue" Day in March was promoted to increase awareness of colorectal cancer prevention. An informative article on colonoscopies was featured in the hospital's community newsletter, Wellnews, that was mailed to over 50,000 homes. And, a 90 Seconds to Better Health medical news segment that aired on the local ABC affiliate, WBKO-TV, featured a local gastroenterologist discussing colon cancer and colonoscopies.
At year end, The Medical Center began working in conjunction with the Kentucky Cancer Program and the Barren River District Health Department to secure funding through the state to provide free colonoscopies to those without insurance.