Hawai‘i Governor David Ige helped pass a resolution in the 2018 legislative session proclaiming December 3 to 7 as Cancer Awareness Week in the State of Hawai‘i.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network worked with lawmakers to pass a resolution during the 2018 legislative session declaring the first week in December as Cancer Screen Week in partnership with Genentech, the American Cancer Society, Stand Up to Cancer and Rally Health.
The goal of Cancer Screen Week is to urge Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i, 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 be prevented through earlier detection.
“Screening is essential to detect cancer early, get appropriate treatment, and help increase survival,” said Cory Chun, Hawai‘i 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 Hawai‘i 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. ACS and ACS CAN will also be working with Kaiser, Kapiʻolani 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 Hawai‘i volunteer. “We hope that during this week, we can encourage other Hawai‘i residents to undergo these lifesaving measures.”