ACCION (Against Colorectal Cancer in Our Neighborhoods) program from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso along with city leaders from Horizon and Socorro, have planned two events in March to bring education and awareness of colorectal cancer (CRC) to families in the area during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
“Colon cancer is a major killer, yet it can be prevented if people knew about the disease and if they could get screened for colorectal cancer,” said Yolanda Rodriguez, RN, director of Mi Pueblo and Club de Amistad Adult Day Care Centers.
The ACCION program is partnering with Rodriguez to bring awareness of CRC to the local community. One of the highlights of the event will be a giant inflatable colon that people can actually walk through and learn about
the different signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and other digestive illnesses. This educational tool will be brought from Las Cruces, N.M., courtesy of New Mexico State University – Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center Partnership, say ACCION officials. The event will also feature a bilingual educational lecture about colon cancer and risk factors. ACCION promotoras (community health workers) will be available at the event to help eligible participants receive free CRC screening.
Rodriguez says she has talked to area businesses and has received commitment from city leaders from Horizon and Socorro to attend and support the educational event.
The first event will take place on Thursday, March 6, from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at 109 Crocker, in Horizon City, inside the Club de Amistad building; the second will take place on Thursday, March 13, from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. at 681 S. Horizon Blvd., in Socorro, inside the Mi Pueblo building.
ACCION is a community-wide collaboration aimed at increasing community awareness and knowledge about colorectal cancer and increasing colorectal cancer screening rates in uninsured residents of El Paso County. In its two years of existence, ACCION has provided free screening, including colonoscopies, to over 4,400 individuals who otherwise could not afford to get screened.
Through the provision of free colonoscopies, seven people were diagnosed with cancer and are currently receiving treatment. ACCION is funded by the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For more information about the events, contact Yolanda Rodriguez at (915) 852-5006. For more information about the ACCION Program, call (915) 215-5588.