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MDHHS educates residents about colorectal cancer screening

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is taking a 10 foot by 10 foot inflatable colon across the state to promote colorectal cancer screening knowledge and awareness among the LGBTQIA+ and HIV+ communities.

In Michigan, 29.5% of the LGBTQIA+ population are due for colorectal cancer screenings according to the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force. MDHHS is working towards improving the rates of colorectal cancer screening in this community, as early detection leads to better outcomes.

“It is important that all Michigan residents, including our LGBTQIA+ community, know about the importance of colon cancer screening,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, MDHHS chief medical executive. “We look forward to educating residents about their risk factors at Pride events and encourage all residents to speak with their health care providers about colorectal cancer screening.”

The inflatable colon, which is free and open to the public, will take place at Motor City Pride from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 10, and 12:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 11. It will also be available at the Grand Rapids Pride Festival from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 17.

Visitors to the exhibit will be able to do the following:

  • Walk through the colon model.
  • Discover how the colon works.
  • Learn how colorectal cancer screening can prevent cancer entirely or catch it early, improving chances of survival.
  • Find out ways to improve and maintain digestive health.
  • Learn about cancer screening resources available in Michigan.

Individuals living with HIV who have questions or concerns about colorectal cancer should visit the Michigan Cancer Screening Project website (CaSPr). CaSPr helps HIV positive and LGBTQIA+ people in Michigan complete cancer screenings for colorectal, cervical, breast and lung cancer. The project does not pay for cancer screenings but helps patients navigate insurance coverage options and assistance programs that can assist with cancer screenings.

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