Health department to host 'Strollin' Through Colon'

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 50.  

On Oct. 4, Southern Seven Health Department and its partners, Hope Light Foundation and the University of Chicago Medicine Center for Asian Health Equity, Union County Hospital and Shawnee Community College plan to host a community event, “Strollin’ Through the Colon.”

“Strollin’ Through the Colon” will be presented from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Shawnee Community College’s Anna Extension Center. The center is located at 1150 E. Vienna St. in Anna.

The event will feature colorectal cancer, CRC, screening; fecal immunochemical test, FIT, kits; cancer education, flu shots, free food and giveaways.

The first 100 people who get a flu shot or pick up a FIT kit will receive a coupon for a free meal from Easy Street So Co Food Truck.

“The Southern Seven Health Department is delighted to work with the University of Chicago and Hope Light Foundation again this year to provide flu shots and also raise awareness of CRC, a very deadly disease,” said Rhonda Andrews Ray, executive director/public health administrator for Southern Seven Health Department. 

Designed not only to educate and save lives, the event will present the reason to get regular colorectal screenings in a light-hearted way that allows those who attend to walk through a 20-foot, inflatable colon.  

Afterwards, visitors will hear from gastroenterologists and other medical professionals about the importance of early detection of colon cancer and treatment. 

The University of Chicago Medicine’s U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention $3.8 million grant, Illinois Colon CARES, now targets the rural communities of Illinois hardest hit by high colorectal cancer incidence and death rates. 

“The University of Chicago Medicine launched the Engaging Rural Partners for Better Health Outcomes initiative as a way to provide support to rural county health departments that are tackling the majority of these issues,” said Fornessa T. Randal, executive director for the center.

One way to screen is a FIT (a stool-based test). 

“If we find colon cancer early, nine out of 10 people will have a long-term survival and can be cured from the disease,” said Dr. Karen Kim, a gastroenterologist, associate director in the UC Comprehensive Cancer Center and principal investigator for the program.  

“Unfortunately, about 40 percent of people diagnosed with colon cancer are found in late stages when the survival rate is very low. This is a disease that needs special attention because we can prevent it with screening,” said Rudy Bess, founding director of the Hope Light Foundation.

Flu shots and FIT kits will be distributed together. The flu is a potentially serious illness that can lead to hospitalization. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu.

More information about the event is available by calling Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297.






The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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