Baptist Health to raise colon cancer awareness with regional screening events

Baptist Health Floyd. March 04, 2024

ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (March 4, 2024) - Continuing its 100 Days of Service efforts during its centennial celebration, Baptist Health Hardin staff will spread the word during March (Colon Cancer Awareness Month) about the need for a screening colonoscopy at age 45 – or even younger for those with a family history of colon cancer, or a chronic gastrointestinal issue such as Crohn’s Disease.

Colon cancer is more common in Kentucky than any other state in the nation, making its prevention and treatment a top priority for Baptist Health. One of the best ways to get ahead of colon cancer is through raising awareness and early detection.

Baptist Health will be hosting multiple colon cancer screening events throughout the month of March. These are free events, and no registration is required.

Baptist Health Louisville

Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Beulah Church Farmers Market, located at 6704 Bardstown Road in Louisville.

Colon screening event, meet the providers, and inflatable colon exhibit. 

Baptist Health La Grange

Saturday, March 23, from noon – 2 p.m. at the Carroll County Cooperative Extension Office, located at 500 Floyd Drive in Carrollton

Colon cancer screenings event, nutritionist and social worker on site.

Baptist Health Floyd 

Tuesday, March 5, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the Baptist Health Floyd Cancer Center, located at 2210 Green Valley Road in New Albany, Indiana.

Colon cancer screening event, presentation by colorectal surgeon Biruk Almaz, MD, and Q & A with providers.

Baptist Health Hardin

Tuesday, March 5, from 11:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Shepherd’s Pie Food Pantry at Magnolia Cumberland Presbyterian Church, located at 235 Old L & N Turnpike in Magnolia.

Wednesday, March 13, from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Lakeside Worship Center, located at 1801 Ring Road in Elizabethtown.

Thursday, March 21, from 9 a.m. – noon at St. John the Apostle Church Catholic Church, located at 515 Broadway St. in Brandenburg.

Wednesday, March 27, from 9 a.m. – noon at Nelson County Fiscal Court, located at One Court Square in Bardstown

Colon cancer screening events and inflatable colon exhibits

“Increasing awareness of cancer prevention, and early detection through screenings, is very important, especially in our underserved communities where residents are less likely to seek preventive medical care,” said Abigail Byrnes, MD, Baptist Health Cancer Care service line chair. “Many also may not know that both private insurance plans started after Sept. 23, 2010, and Medicare cover the costs of colon cancer screening tests, including colonoscopy, without co-pays or deductibles.

“Through these events, we hope to educate people not only about cancer, but about how they can access cancer screenings,” the Corbin physician added.

“There are some steps you can take to improve your overall health and reduce your risk for colon cancer,” said Laura Buchanan, MD, gastroenterologist for Baptist Health Medical Group in Elizabethtown. “Maintain a healthy weight, eat a healthy diet, avoid alcohol and if you smoke, quit smoking. Make early detection a priority by getting screened regularly started at 45.”

Baptist Health hospitals and surgical centers performed more than 37,000 colonoscopies last year, with more than 19,000 total performed at its four Kentuckiana hospitals. 

Baptist Health was the first in the state to open a dedicated inpatient unit for cancer patients in 1977. That leadership continues, with about 1 in 5 cancer patients in Kentucky treated at a Baptist Health facility.

In 2024, Baptist Health celebrates its 100th anniversary, and will mark each month with a health-related “gift” to its communities. In February, Baptist Health Hardin offered heart health education and screenings.

The original Kentucky Baptist Hospital in Louisville opened its doors in November 1924 following years of rallying community support and fundraising. Baptist Health has since expanded to nine hospitals and more than 2,700 licensed beds, reaching nearly 75% of Kentucky residents and a wide swath of southern Indiana.