FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
October 15, 2010 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced the “kick off” of a public awareness campaign for colorectal cancer screening in greater Waterbury. The year-long campaign will include advertising on public transit, informational pamphlets and coordinated community efforts in the targeted area.
DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin, a physician, knows first-hand the importance of regular colorectal cancer screenings. “If you’re 50 years old or older, getting a colorectal cancer screening test could save your life,” says Dr. Galvin. “Screening tests can find polyps, so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Getting screened can also find colorectal cancer early so that it can be treated before it’s too late.”
This pilot initiative targets greater Waterbury including Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, Naugatuck, Prospect, Middlebury and other surrounding towns. DPH plans to expand the targeted campaign and concentrate on other areas of the state in the future.
According to state health officials, colorectal cancer is the 4th most common cancer diagnosed in Connecticut men and the 3rd most common cancer diagnosed in Connecticut women. More than 9 out of every 10 colorectal cancers diagnosed in 2001-2005 were in men and women 50 years of age or older. Both campaigns target men and women age 50 and over, who have not been screened for colorectal cancer according to nationally recommended screening guidelines.
The grassroots marketing campaign will ask residents to “Pledge to Get a Screening” for their future and the future of their children and grandchildren. At various locations throughout the year, residents will be asked to sign pledge cards with reminders sent to them by DPH as a follow-up to ensure that they were screened.
For more information on colorectal cancer and how to get screened please go to www.stayinthegamect.com, visit the Department of Public Health Colorectal Cancer Control Program at http://www.ct.gov/dph/colorectal or call 860-509-8251.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.