LIHUE — Gov. David Ige has issued a proclamation declaring December 3-7 as Cancer Screen Week in Hawaii.
The goal of Cancer Screen Week is to urge Hawaii residents to talk with their health care providers about the importance of screening and early detection to save lives from cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, 600,000 Americans will die from cancer this year. In Hawaii, nearly 6,300 residents will be diagnosed with cancer this year and 2,200 people will die from the disease. Many of these cancer deaths could prevented through earlier detection.
“Screening is essential to detect cancer early, get appropriate treatment, and help increase survival,” said Cory Chun, Hawaii government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. “We are grateful for the governor’s proclamation this week to raise awareness about the life-saving importance of cancer screenings and encourage Hawaii residents to talk with their doctors about their screening options.”
ACS CAN will host several activities during Cancer Screen Week to highlight the importance of early detection and screening.
Today, ACS CAN will host a panel sponsored by Lyft and Genentech with discussion focused on access to care for Native Hawaii and Pacific Islanders, two groups who face large disparities in cancer care and have lower cancer screening rates. The panel will include experts from Kamehameha Schools and Papa Ola Lokahi, a nonprofit focused on improving Native Hawaiian health.
The panel is free and open to the public. Registration information is available here.
ACS and ACS CAN will also be working with Kaiser, Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, Straub Medical Center and Queens Medical Center to provide $3,000 in Lyft coupons to help patients get transportation for colon and breast cancer screenings during the week. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States for men and women combined, but half of all colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented each year if every individual age 50 and older received recommended colorectal cancer screenings. Breast cancer is also one of the most preventable, easily treatable cancers if detected early.
“Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that you can completely prevent or detect at a very early stage with routine screening, so I’m fortunate that I was able to access my colonoscopy,” said Steve Abrams, a colon cancer survivor and ACS CAN Hawaii volunteer. “We hope that during this week, we can encourage other Hawaii residents to undergo these lifesaving measures.”