Oneida County Employees Raise Money for Colon Cancer Awareness

$1,275 donated through dress down day bracelet sales

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. presented a check to the American Cancer Society this morning representing money raised by county employees for colon cancer research and awareness.

During the month of March, county employees raised $1,275 through colon cancer awareness bracelets that were sold for $5 during a dress down day on March 10.

“Once again our employees have demonstrated considerable generosity when it comes to helping their fellow community members,” said Picente, who was personally featured in Public Service Announcements that encouraged colon cancer screenings. “While colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in this country, it is extremely preventable and I’m very proud that we have played a part in helping to raise that awareness.”

The Oneida County Health Department coordinated several events during Colorectal Awareness Month including radio PSAs, ads in local media outlets and billboards throughout the county, and partnered with RoSo’s Café and Bagg’s Square Café in Utica, and Kunkel Ambulance to promote awareness of the disease throughout the community,

The Oneida County Office Building on Park Avenue in Utica was also lit up during March to contribute to the awareness.

“While a combination of earlier detection and better treatments have yielded a steady decline in the colorectal cancer death rate over the past 20 years, more than one in three adults in the United States who fall within recommended screening guidelines are still not being tested for colorectal cancer,” said Bob Elinskas, senior community manager for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. “We are grateful to the county for their commitment to increasing awareness about this disease as their efforts will help save lives."

Colon cancer is preventable through colonoscopies in which polyps can be removed from the colon before becoming cancerous. Screenings are suggested to begin at age 50, but those with a family history should talk to a doctor about being screened earlier.

Full-time employees of Oneida County receive eight hours of paid leave per year to obtain cancer screenings, and in some cases, those without health insurance can have a screening paid for by the Oneida County Health Department’s Cancer Services Program.