Members of the UK Markey Cancer Center's Community Outreach Program work with cancer education programs, evidence-based research groups, local healthcare providers and Markey-affiliated partners to further cancer prevention and education across Kentucky. The program targets underserved areas through screening events, educational opportunities for youth, and well care for adults.
From March 2014 to April 2018, 17,600 people were reached in 37 Kentucky counties and 167 events through the program's efforts.
The importance of cancer education and screening cannot be understated. In 2017, the Markey Community Outreach Program's reach was felt across the Bluegrass in greater force than ever before. The Markey Cancer Center Affiliate Network now has 20 sites across the state where outreach activities are held as well.
To learn more about participating in or hosting an event, please visit our 2018 Cancer Screening Events webpage.
Mamm's Day Out is a quarterly program for breast cancer screening and education. In addition to mammography and education, blood work and take-home fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) are provided.
Through four events in 2017, 63 attendees were screened free of charge leading to three biopsies performed and one breast cancer diagnosis.
Body & Soul is a new program launched in August 2017. The program is a conversation presented at church youth groups led by an outreach program member and the church's youth minister.
For the students in attendance, it is important to learn that decisions made as a young person can affect their chances of getting cancer later in life. The conversation focuses on self-care by discussing physical wellness and continuing spiritual health throughout life.
Through four events in 2017, 185 students and 20 adults were engaged in conversation discussing all aspects of their health. In post-event surveys, 55 percent of the participants said they encouraged a friend or family member to get a screening or to make their health a priority going forward.
The Expressions of Courage Art Education Program works with art classes across Kentucky to emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and encouraging others in their families to do the same.
After an initial presentation about cancer screenings and wellness, students are assigned a project that should demonstrate how cancer has affected them or their loved ones. After the projects are completed, an art show is held where friends and family are encouraged to attend.
In 2017, 450 students and 200 adults participated in the Art Education program. In post-event surveys, 70 percent of the participants said they spoke with family members or friends about the dangers of smoking following the event. In the same surveys, 66 percent of the participants said they encouraged family members and friends to make their health a priority and to get a check-up or screening.
Health Check Community Screening is another new program launched in 2017. In November 2017, the program worked with Kentucky CancerLink and Clark Regional Medical Center, a Markey-affiliated hospital, to offer various cancer screenings and prevention programs to men and women. During the event, the program offered skin cancer screenings, FITs for colon cancer, and signed up women interested in the Mamm's Day Out program. The event was open to the public but there was a particular screening focus on the Hispanic community.
In the program's first event, 25 people, both men and women, attended the two hour program. Of these attendees, 21 had skin cancer screenings, 22 had lab work done, and seven FITs were given out. Four tests have been returned to date, and all were negative.
Throughout the year, the Community Outreach Program works with community partners to distribute free fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) to those in need of colon cancer testing. Our program works with Markey-affiliated hospitals, community hospitals and health educators to get the kits into the hands of people who need them. Since the program was started in November 2015, Markey has provided 3,215 kits. Of the 988 kits that were returned, 176 were positive while 812 were negative. Once a kit is positive, our program's partners and patient navigators contact the person by phone and letter to arrange a follow-up appointment.
In 2017, our program added five new partners around the state bringing the grand total to 13 partners sharing free FITs.