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Health Matters: Blue Ribbon Campaign to Fight Colon Cancer
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Last year the Arkansas House and Senate passed a measure making March Colon Cancer Awareness Month in Arkansas.
Colon cancer is the second most deadly kind of cancer in the U.S., but one of the most preventable.
At the Arkansas Diagnostic Center, home to gastroenterologist Dr. Alonzo Williams, whose daughter is working to fight colon cancer just as hard as her father.
"I moved back just to do it!," exclaims Sherra Armstrong.
She's on a mission to remove colon cancer from being one of the leading causes of cancer deaths.
Armstrong says once at number three, it moved to number two after breast cancer became a hot button issue.
"Because of the efforts of Susan G. Komen and Pink Ribbon, it's now number three, so it's really important we follow in those footsteps with the Blue Ribbon Campaign," she explains.
The focus is on being proactive not reactive. Colon cancer is preventable with early screenings.
"It's the only cancer that tells you it's coming. You have polyps that take 5 years to metastasiz," says Armstrong.
While it affects males and females as well as different races all the same, African American males remain at the highest risk of death due to hesitation to get screened.
That's why Armstrong asked her father to join a national effort to get the word out.
"Make it a blue ribbon thing. Make it a movement even if they don't come to your office you still help fix it because it is an epidemic," she says.
Doctors recommend regular screenings after age 50.