On Friday, March 15, Rapides Regional Medical Center will host a Dress in Blue Day event to help bring greater awareness to colon cancer. The event coincides with the Colon Cancer Alliance’s National Dress in Blue Day activities to help commemorate March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., but if detected early, it is highly treatable. Screening can also drastically reduce one’s risk of developing this disease because, during a colonoscopy, colon polyps can be found and removed before they have a chance to develop into cancer. It is estimated one in 20 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer.

“The Colon Cancer Alliance is working toward a future free of colon cancer,” said Karen Hathorn, Director of Oncology Services at Rapides Regional Medical Center. “By hosting a local Dress in Blue Day event, we are doing our part to help bring greater awareness to this disease and the importance a screening can play in saving lives.” 

The Community Education department at Rapides Regional Medical Center and the CMAP Cancer Screening Project will have an information station set up from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on March 15 in front of The Gift Shop located in the main tower of the hospital.

Colon cancer information and Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kits will be available for those who qualify through the Cancer Screening Project funded by The Rapides Foundation. To qualify for the screenings, you must not have Medicare, Medicaid or any other private insurance that covers preventive/wellness checkups. FIT colon screenings are recommended for men and women age 50-64.

Handouts and pamphlets also will be available concerning colon cancer statistics, risk factors and lifestyle changes, as well as recommendations on preventative screenings.

“We are taking part in Dress in Blue Day to promote colon cancer awareness, a disease that people rarely talk about” said Dr. David Holcombe, Director of Region 6 for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. “We encourage family, friends, businesses and community groups to get involved by wearing blue, the universal color of colon cancer.”

Dress in Blue Day is held in communities and offices throughout the nation.  Americans dress in blue, the nationwide awareness color for colon cancer, to show their support in the fight against this disease and to get people talking about the importance of colon cancer screening.

For more information on cancer prevention, visit www.rapidesregional.com.