March is colorectal cancer awareness month, and Riverhead's PBMC Health will partner with the American Cancer Society and the Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County to spread the word.
PBMC Health will be painting the town blue to raise awareness about the importance of colon cancer screening and early detection.
Local businesses were invited to participate in the life-saving campaign Main Street Goes Blue, on Tuesday during a breakfast at the Hyatt Place East End.
Business owners were briefed on how they can participate and spread the word to raise awareness in the community about the importance of screening and early detection.
During Main Streets Go Blue, businesses will decorate in blue and feature posters, giveaways and educational material provided by the American Cancer Society, the Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County and PBMC Health.
Tanger Outlets and others will offer special discounts during the weeklong campaign; The Hyatt Place East End will be changing their outside lighting to blue, and The Riverhead Project will be offering a special drink called “Bottoms Up.”
According to PBMC Health, only about 50 percent of insured adults aged 50-75 are up-to-date with colon cancer screening; or 36 percent, for those that are uninsured.
“The risk of colon cancer increases with age; by encouraging everyone 50-plus to get screened is a proactive step in the prevention of colon cancer,” Andrew Mitchell, President & CEO of PBMC Health and Peconic Bay Medical Center, said. “Engaging businesses in championing preventive care is an essential collaboration towards decreasing late-stage diagnosis and increasing survivorship. PBMC Health will continue to position ourselves to be at the forefront for our community in fighting colon cancer through education, community awareness and access to expert physicians that deliver comprehensive treatment and care.”
Colon cancer affects both men and women and is the second leading cause of cancer related death in the United States, according to experts. But if caught early, it is treatable.
"Colon cancer is one of the only cancers that can be detected and prevented through screening before it even starts. With the support of local businesses, we can help spread this lifesaving message," Dr. Clare Bradley of the American Cancer Society said. "We are also working together to provide resources and support for families, friends and loved ones dealing with a colon cancer diagnosis. We are not just providing information — we are providing help and hope."