It's a topic that no one wants to talk about - colon cancer.
Health officials are trying to combat that trend. The Broome County Health Department hopes free screenings for eligible people will encourage them to get tested. This is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
The Broome County Health Department is highlighting a grant program that can pay for testing for people between the ages of 50 and 64 who don't have health insurance. Sherman Wood of Binghamton got screened last year. He is a self employed general contractor and doesn't have health insurance. Wood was concerned that he might have cancer because he was having severe stomach and intestinal issues. The good news is that he doesn't have colon cancer.
Sherman Wood says, "I was worried that there might be a problem there and there was no monies and no funds for me. When she came up with that grant, it was like wow, there was a lot of weight lifted off of my shoulders. That was the first step. You have to go and get it done, because it's what you don't know that does kill you."
Carrie Abbott is a Public Health Educator at the county health department. She says screenings save lives. For instance, when someone has a colonoscopy, potential cancer causing pollups can be removed. Abbott says, "Colon cancer is the second leading cancer of all the cancers. So, it's important that people do get screened because it can prevent cancer from happening in the first place. It's a lifesaving tool."
If you would like more information about whether you qualify for a free screening, call the Health Department at 778-3900.