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Working toward a healthier Commonwealth at the State Fair

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KentuckyOne Health and Kentucky Cancer Program to Offer Five Cancer Screenings at Kentucky State Fair

 LOUISVILLE - Kentucky has some of the highest cancer rates in the country. In order to improve those statistics, KentuckyOne Health and the Kentucky Cancer Program and affiliates have teamed up to provide screening opportunities for five different cancers at the Kentucky State Fair, August 20-30, 2015.

At various times throughout the Kentucky State Fair, screenings will be provided for breast, colon, prostate, skin and head and neck cancers at the KentuckyOne Health exhibit in the “Health Horizons” area of the South Wing. Most screenings will be free for those who qualify.

“Improving access to critical early detection screenings is an important tool in the fight against cancer,” said Mark Milburn, vice president, oncology services, KentuckyOne Health. “Working together with our partners to provide screening opportunities in convenient locations like the Kentucky State Fair is part of our ongoing focus on increasing access to care for all Kentuckians.”

Screenings include:

Breast Cancer Screening – The James Graham Brown Cancer Center Mobile Mammography Unit will provide mammograms daily, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., during the state fair. The James Graham Brown Cancer Center Mobile Mammography Unit accepts insurance and will also provide free screenings to those who qualify. The American Cancer Society recommends women begin annual mammograms at age 40.

Colon Cancer Screening – The Kentucky Cancer Program will provide colon cancer education and screening kits daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for individuals 50 or over who are uninsured.

The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is a stool test that detects hidden blood in the stool, which can be a sign of precancerous polyps or colon cancer. The kits can be completed at home and sent back to the Kentucky Department of Public Health. Colon cancer screening is recommended for men and women beginning at age 50 for those at average risk. Individuals with a family history may need to be screened sooner.

Prostate Cancer Screenings – The Kentucky Prostate Cancer Coalition, in conjunction with First Urology, will provide prostate cancer screenings available 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on the following dates: Saturday, August 22; Sunday, August 23; Tuesday, August 25; and Saturday, August 29. Prostate cancer screening is recommended for men beginning at age 50.

“The only cure for prostate cancer is early detection through screening,” said Steve Henry, MD, prostate cancer survivor and president of the Kentucky Prostate Cancer Coalition. “Prostate cancer screening is your doctor’s best means to diagnose and properly treat prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. A three-minute test could save your life, it saved mine.”

“As the wife of a prostate cancer survivor, I know that early detection saves lives,” said Heather French Henry, commissioner, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. “As an advocate for our heroes and the daughter of a Vietnam veteran, I know that our Vietnam veterans are at higher risk for prostate cancer due to exposure to Agent Orange. It is our responsibility to increase this awareness among the 116,000 Vietnam veterans in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Skin Cancer Screenings – Skin cancers are by far the most common cancers, and many are highly curable. Skin cancer prevention education and sun damage screening will be available on Friday, August 21, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the KentuckyOne Health exhibit area. In addition, the Kentucky Cancer Program will offer skin cancer screenings funded by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, daily at varying times.

Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Screenings – Experts from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center will provide free oral, head and neck cancer screenings on Friday, August 28, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oral, head and neck cancers include a wide range of tumors that occur in the head and neck region, including the nasal passages, sinuses, mouth, throat, larynx, swallowing passages, salivary glands and the thyroid gland. Heavy tobacco and alcohol usage are major risk factors for head and neck cancer.

“Detecting cancers early, before they have the chance to grow and spread, can increase treatment options and improve potential outcomes for our patients,” said Donald Miller, MD, PhD, director for the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, jointly operated by KentuckyOne Health and the University of Louisville. “I encourage individuals to take advantage of these screening opportunities and talk to their primary care provider to develop a screening plan based on their family history and recommended screening guidelines.”

In addition to ongoing outreach through the James Graham Brown Mobile Mammography Unit, KentuckyOne Health and the James Graham Brown Cancer Center are partners in First Lady Jane Beshear’s Horses and Hope cancer initiative, which is currently raising funds for a van that will travel around Kentucky to provide mobile cancer prevention and early detection services for citizens.

It will have the capacity to provide education and screenings for cancers that can be prevented or diagnosed early including breast, cervical, colon, lung, prostate, skin and head/neck. Services provided by the Horses and Hope mobile van will be delivered through the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, which has a Nationally Accredited Breast Center licensed by the American College of Radiology, KentuckyOne Health, and supported by the Kentucky Cancer Program.

“The Kentucky State Fair is an ideal event to communicate the importance of early detection and cancer screenings to a broad group of Kentuckians,” said First Lady Jane Beshear. “Horses and Hope is proud to partner with KentuckyOneHealth and the Kentucky Cancer Program in raising funds for a mobile cancer screening unit and we support both organizations’ efforts to help reduce the rate of cancer incidence in the Commonwealth.”

A complete list of screening opportunities offered by KentuckyOne Health at the Kentucky State Fair, including dates and times, is available at www.kentuckyonehealth.org/statefair.

About KentuckyOne Health

KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.  The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.