Seniors Tackling Cancer
Today we talk more often of “cancer survivors” than “cancer victims”. Much progress has been made in prevention, early detection, treatment options, and caring for those affected by the disease. Nonetheless, it remains a scary word and over 13,000 Mississippians are likely to be diagnosed with cancer this year. Seniors Tackling Cancer is a project developed by Mississippi State University Extension Service (MSU-ES) to help communities find ways to improve the prevention, early detection, and ability to live with cancer. Though cancer is age-blind, it more frequently impacts seniors. While the project focuses on older residents, its output will likely benefit all age groups. Community members are brought together to assess what is and is not working in their area to address cancer and then begin a grassroots effort to effect positive change. Change comes through the work of locally formed community action groups and the efforts of MSU-ES trained lay health education Combating Cancer Volunteers. The project was initially conducted in Winston County, Mississippi.
Mississippi is #25 in the nation in the rate of cancer incidence, but #3 in the rate of deaths attributable to cancer. That disparity may be due to such things as the cancer being diagnosed later in the disease process, limited access to care, the nature of the particular cancers, etc. An unknown author once said “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Working with local communities, we will not find a cure for cancer, but we can find ways to improve prevention, increase early detection, and help improve the quality of life of those living with cancer.
Combating Cancer Volunteers
The Combating Cancer Volunteer is part of the Seniors Tackling Cancer project and is umbrellaed under the Master Health Education Volunteer Program. The goal of this program is to train volunteers to share health messages on cancer risk factors and the importance of early detection in combating cancer.
Volunteers are required to participate in a training course to sufficiently prepare them to give presentations to the community. After receiving the training, volunteers agree to give 20 hours of service back to the community. Participants in the program are given packaged presentations that can be used to educate friends, relatives, co-workers, faith-based organizations, civic clubs and other community members about the following cancers:
- Breast Cancer
- Colorectal Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
The community report below has been developed to give voice to the findings of the community forums and to the residents of Winston County who participated in the process and are working today to turn their concerns into action. Much can be learned in this report about how civic organizations, churches, businesses, schools, public officials and other fellow residents may find opportunities suggested in these findings to get involved and take action supportive of reducing cancer’s impact on their families, friends, and neighbors.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Sunny, summer days and fair skin tones are not the only risk factors for skin cancer. Cold days, cloudy weather and dark complexions do not eliminate to risk of skin damage and cancers.
"Basically, anytime the sun is below the horizon is the only time any of us are safe from the damaging effects associated with ultraviolet rays," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Rocheryl Ware sees members of her 4-H Junior Master Wellness Volunteer group as catalysts that can help change Mississippi's health landscape.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- As spring blooms outdoors, many people with allergies take refuge inside their homes, but indoor air pollutants can trigger allergic reactions, as well.
"Dust, pollen, cockroaches, pet dander, dust mites, and mold and mildew found inside homes can trigger allergy and asthma symptoms for many people," said David Buys, health specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service. "Make routine cleaning a priority to help control these pollutants."
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, or MS-AND, has named David Buys as a recipient of one of its most distinguished awards.
A Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist, Buys was presented with the MS-AND Magnolia Award earlier this month.
The Magnolia Award recognizes individuals outside of the dietetics profession who make significant contributions to the field. It is one of four awards MS-AND makes each year.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- National Ag Day celebrates Food for Life on March 21, but a video series by the Mississippi State University Extension Service promotes nutrition, food safety and healthy lifestyles every week of the year.
"The Food Factor" is a series of 90-second videos hosted by Natasha Haynes, a Rankin County Extension agent. These spots air weekly on a variety of television outlets, in addition to being available online.