MIDDLESEX COUNTY — The Middlesex County Public Health Department’s Cancer Coalition and its Cancer Education and Early Detection Program are sponsoring a colorectal cancer awareness campaign.
Events will be held 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 23 at Seventh Day Adventist Church, 25 Division St., New Brunswick; and 11 a.m. Wednesday, March 24 at the Metuchen Senior Center, 35 Lincoln Ave., Metuchen.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Funding for the events was provided by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Office of Cancer Control and Prevention. The Public Health Department also has partnered with the Cancer Institute of New Jersey to provide outreach and education for County residents.
Middlesex County Freeholder Deputy Director Ronald G. Rios, chair of the County’s Public Health and Education Committee, said: “I urge residents to talk to their doctors about this disease and ask them about screening tests. Education and early prevention are always the keys to healthy living. I encourage all residents to attend one of these events because the information you receive may save a life.”
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or large intestine/bowel. Commonly there are no early symptoms. If symptoms are present, they may include: blood in the stool; a change in bowel habits; unexplained stomach pain; frequent gas and/or indigestion.
Colorectal cancer is most often found in people age 50 or older, both men and women can get it, and the risk increases with age. Your risk of the disease may be higher if you or a close relative had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, you have inflammatory bowel disease, you have a genetic syndrome, or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
Regular colorectal screening is important since patients do not show symptoms in the early stages, when the cancer is more curable. Screening begins at age 50 except in high-risk individuals, who should begin screening at age 45.
David A. Papi, Director-Health Officer of the Middlesex County Public Health Department, stated: “You can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer by getting screened. It is also important to maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, exercise more, and know your family history.”
The Middlesex County Public Health Department has a state and federally funded program to provide colorectal cancer screening for Middlesex County Residents who meet eligibility requirements. Call 1-732-745-3127.
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