BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – The Louisiana Department of Health has launched a campaign centered around Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. One of the goals of this campaign is to increase screenings throughout the year.
The campaign is not only trying to bring awareness during March but connect residents with prevention services all throughout the state.
“When we see bad outcomes with colorectal cancer most of the time is when screening never happens,” said Joseph Kanter, state health officer of the Louisiana Department of Health.
Kanter said the mission of the campaign is to save lives and hopes residents take advantage of the screenings.
LDH has identified colorectal cancer as a continued focus in the department’s FYO23 Business Plan because of the below-average screening rates, and the above-average mortality for cancer among Louisianans.
“Louisiana routinely ranks on the lower end of the 50 states in terms of colorectal cancer screenings rates and at the higher end in terms of mortality so we can improve on both of those,” he said.
Kanter said there are many residents in the state that are not up to date with their screenings.
“There’s a lot in medicine that we really don’t have good treatments for, colorectal cancer is not one of them. We have excellent ways to screen for this type of cancer and that’s not the same for other type of cancers. For colorectal cancer, screening is very effective at finding early-stage of cancers and it’s easy.”
Besides the partnership with Mary Birds Perkins Cancer Center, LDH plans to expand its partnerships to include Ochsner Health Cancer Institute and Woman’s Hospital. The mission of the expansion is to focus on increasing screenings in the three parishes with the lowest screenings rates and reducing racial and rural disparities.
Those interested in screenings can click here for a list of locations.