Wednesday July 24, 2024
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As part of “No Shave November,” the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services is emphasizing the importance of colon cancer awareness and prevention. The effort is part of the ongoing 52 Weeks of Public Health Campaign.

Colon cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. despite being considered the most easily preventable cancer. Screening and early diagnosis are important for long-term survival, along with healthy lifestyle habits including a healthy diet, regular exercise and avoiding smoking and other forms of tobacco.

“Although screening is the best way to decrease the risk of colon cancer, improving your overall health with a few healthy living style choices will decrease your chances of developing colon cancer,” said Dr. Jeffrey D. Howard, acting DPH commissioner.

Colon cancers often develop from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Detection of the pre-cancerous polyps can be found through screenings such as colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, barium enema or virtual colonoscopy. Screenings for colon cancer should be done on men and women starting at 45 to 50 years of age and thereafter as deemed necessary by your health care provider and screening results.

Early signs and symptoms of colon may include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Change in bowel movement frequency
  • Change in stool size
  • Unexplained anemia (low red blood cells)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent abdominal pain
  • Constant tiredness
  • Vomiting

To learn about how you can get screened for colon cancer, visit the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program website.

As part of the 52 Weeks of Public Health campaign, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH), within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS), is calling on homeowners to help control mosquitoes by eliminating standing water from containers that can collect rainwater where insects breed.

“Everyone needs to do their part to help reduce the mosquito population,” said Hiram Polk Jr., MD, DPH commissioner. “As we are out in the garden getting ready for the growing season or after a rain shower, spend a moment or two thinking about other potential breeding areas for mosquitoes. Walk around your yard once a week or after a rain shower to see if there are any containers holding water and drain them.”

Female mosquitoes need only a teaspoon of water in which to lay eggs; can become an adult mosquito in just seven days; and have a lifespan of about two weeks. Mosquitoes will lay eggs in almost anything such as a bottle cap, a candy wrapper, folds of a plastic tarp or downspout, discarded tires, children’s toys or the seat of a riding lawn mower. Mosquitoes lay eggs on the walls of water-filled containers and the eggs stick like glue and remain attached until they are scrubbed off. The eggs can survive when they dry out up to 8 months. Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover or throw out containers that can hold water.

Common household items that can be a home for mosquito larvae include buckets, garbage cans, tires, tarps, gutters and flexible downspout extensions, decks and porches, kiddie pools and pool covers, sand boxes, wagons and big plastic toys, planter saucers or planters without drainage holes, wheelbarrows, watering cans, bird baths, decorative ponds without fish and unscreened water barrels.

If you cannot eliminate or drain a breeding ground because it is too heavy to move, consider using a larvacide such as mosquito dunks containing a biological larvacide.

For more information about the mosquito proofing your yard to reduce mosquito populations, see this video featuring Dr. Anna Yaffee, CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, Kentucky Department for Public Health.

For further information visit the DPH website or the CDC website at Be sure to follow KYHealthAlerts on Twitter and DPH’s Zika mascot, Marty Mosquito, on Instagram, @martymosquito.

Throughout the planned 52 Weeks of Public Health promotion, DPH will spotlight a specific public health issue. Additional information about the campaign is available on the DPH website: and will be posted on the CHFS Facebook page: where Kentuckians are encouraged to like and share posts among their networks of friends.