La. launches campaign to raise awareness about colorectal cancer screenings

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 9:33 AM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Department of Health has launched a new campaign for the month of March with the goal of raising awareness about colorectal cancer screenings.

The Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month campaign in Louisiana is being held at the same time as national Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

According to LDH, people should get regular screenings as soon as they turn 45 years old.

RELATED: YOUR HEALTH: Colorectal cancer; Alarming rates in young people

“We continue to deepen our work to increase colorectal cancer awareness and screenings because we know that doing so has the potential to save lives,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. “I am excited that we have the opportunity to build on last year’s progress increasing screening rates with additional provider partnerships. Our focus on parishes with low screening rates and reducing racial and rural disparities will allow us to better meet people where they are, and, ultimately, improve health outcomes.”

LDH partnered with the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in 2022 to hold 67 community-based screenings across Louisiana. Health officials said they will also partner with Woman’s Hospital and the Ochsner Health Cancer Institute for health screenings in 2023.

Health officials said Louisiana has significantly higher rates of colorectal cancer in Black residents. There are 52.9 cases per 100,000 for Black residents compared to 42.4 cases per 100,000 for white residents.

LDH released the below facts about colorectal cancer:

  • Colorectal cancer is a highly preventable, treatable cancer, especially when diagnosed early; yet it is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and in women in the United States.
  • Regular routine screening should happen for anyone beginning at age 45, according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.
  • People at increased or high risk of colorectal cancer might need to start colorectal cancer screening before age 45, be screened more often and/or get specific tests. This includes people with a strong family history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps.
  • A colonoscopy is not the only type of screening for colorectal cancer. There are highly sensitive stool-based tests that can be taken yearly at home. There is also a stool DNA test that can be performed every three years, also in the privacy of your home.

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