Penn Yan goes blue to raise awareness of colorectal cancer

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

Penn Yan is one of a handful of communities across New York State that will glow with a different tint this week and next as it turns blue to raise awareness about the second leading cancer killer in the U.S.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the New York State Department of Health Cancer Services Program (CSP) is turning New York Main Streets blue to raise awareness about this preventable disease.  

Main Street in Penn Yan is one of only 12 Main Streets selected to launch this pilot project.

As you stroll down Main Street this week, you’ll see blue decals in store windows and blue lights indicating that the business has “gone blue.”

Mary Corwin, of the Cancer Services Program of Ontario, Seneca and Yates Counties and Yates County Public Health Nursing says “Colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable when caught early through routine screening.”

The Main Street Goes Blue project begins on Friday, March 4, with National Dress in Blue Day, a day when people are encouraged to wear blue to raise awareness about colon cancer, and continues through March 13.

The aim of the project is to:

• Raise awareness about this disease in hopes of increasing screening rates.

• Spread the word that your local Cancer Services Program provides information, support, and free cancer screening services to eligible men and women in your community.

Free cancer screening events will be held March 4 - 11 on Main Street in Penn Yan beginning with a Kick-off Event at Community Bank from 1 to 4 p.m. March 4.

Colorectal Cancer occurs most often in people aged 50 or older. The risk increases with age. Both men and women can get colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. Over time, some polyps can turn into cancer. Screening tests can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn to cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when the chance of being cured is good.

The Cancer Services Program of Ontario, Seneca & Yates Counties provides free cancer screenings to uninsured and underinsured women ages 40 to 64, and men ages 50 to 64.

Most health insurance plans, including Medicare, pay for colon cancer screening. Talk to a doctor about getting screened today, or call Mary Corwin RN 315-536-5160 to get screened.