The Palestine Resource Center for Independent Living will host the 10th annual Community Health Fair on Friday, April 4.
The fair, which includes speakers, free screenings and free restaurant samplings, will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Evangelistic Temple, 3011 North Loop 256 in Palestine.
“Each year we have tried to give emphasis to a particular health issue that is rampant in our county. In past years we have targeted diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and promoted health and wellness alternatives, as well. These issues will all continue to be a part of the fair, however, since it is our 10-year anniversary, we wanted to call attention to another disparity which is very high in Anderson and surrounding counties,” PRCIL Executive Director Sara Minton said. “The focus for this year’s fair will be colon cancer.”
According to Minton, of all Texas counties, Anderson County has one of the highest death rates due to colon cancer. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the third most common cancer in both men and women. Regular screenings of individuals aged 50 and older could prevent an estimated 50 percent of all deaths related to this disease. The expectations for new cases of colon cancer in Texas could reach 3,183, of these 1,751 will be male and 1,432 will be female.
“Although county percentages are extremely high, there are no outreach programs to educate the community members in our area. For this very reason and the fact that the statistics are overwhelming for not only our county, but Texas overall, PRCIL staff joined a coalition with the UT Health Northeast Colon Cancer Screening Project (NCCSP). The overall goal of this project is to change behavior,” Minton said. “In doing so, the behavior change will create a reduction in health disparities and an increase in the number of underserved adults who receive colon cancer screenings.