Madeline Abramson, wife of Kentucky Lt. Governor Jerry Abramson, today announced Friday, March 1st as “Dress in Blue Day” to kick-off National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and to help raise awareness about colon cancer in Kentucky.
According to data from the Kentucky Cancer Registry at the University of Kentucky, about 2,600 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in Kentucky each year and nearly 900 people will die.
“Kentucky has one the highest mortality rates of colon cancer in the nation,” said Mrs. Abramson. “The good news is that this deadly disease can often be successfully prevented and treated when detected early. People over the age 50 or who have a family history of colon cancer are at the greatest risk. I ask Kentuckians to join me in wearing blue on March 1 and to help spread the word about the risks of colon cancer and the importance of getting screened.”
For the fourth consecutive year, Mrs. Abramson is serving as the Honorary Chair for Dress in Blue Day in Kentucky and is working with the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) on colon cancer awareness efforts throughout the month of March.
On March 1, KCP is hosting a Dress in Blue Day event from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Kentucky Science Center in Louisville, dubbed “Blue of L Day”. Mrs. Abramson and UofL basketball legend Darrell Griffith will be appearing from noon to 1 p.m. to meet with participants and discuss the importance of colon cancer screening. The event will feature the incredible inflatable colon, educational materials and gifts to people wearing blue.
Participants in Dress in Blue Day are eligible to win prizes by submitting photos of their activities on the KCP website at www.kycancerprogram.org/special-events.
To help raise awareness in Frankfort, the State Capitol dome will be lit blue March 1st -10th and a special exhibit with colon cancer information will be featured in the Capitol Annex tunnel during the week of March 4.
In all, more than 300 partners across Kentucky including hospitals, businesses, churches, schools, banks and health departments are planning and hosting special activities to commemorate the month and promote screening.
State Efforts to Fight Colorectal Cancers
Last year, Governor Steve Beshear authorized funding colon cancer screening for 4,000 uninsured Kentuckians. The $1 million investment is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Kentucky Cancer Foundation, for a total of $2 million to be spent over the biennium.
Over the next two years, grants will be awarded to local health departments, which have formed partnerships with community health care providers to offer services, including colon cancer outreach and education, patient navigation and colon cancer screening services.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 90 percent when found and treated early, underscoring the need for preventive health exams like the fecal immunochemical test or colonoscopy. Screenings detect any abnormalities or early signs of cancer, like polyps in the colon. When detected early, polyps can be easily removed during a colonoscopy before they develop into cancer.
For more information on colorectal cancer and how to get tested, please visit www.kycancerprogram.org.