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Seniors Tackling Cancer

Purple ribbon.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

cancer awareness ribbonThe 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

See the Combating Cancer Volunteers Newsletter!  


 

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.

Advertisement for 'Seniors Tackling Cancer' with a water wheel in the background and three flags are flying beside it just above bushes.

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News

A woman stands behind a kitchen counter of breakfast toast and toppings.
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness September 13, 2021

Don’t think of breakfast as a meal that has to take a long time to prepare. One of my favorite breakfast meals is toast. I start with whole-grain toasted bread as my foundation to build a healthy meal with lots of fun, tasty, and nutritious toppings. 

Medical worker in protective clothing takes a throat swab from a male patient.
Filed Under: Health and Wellness, Health, Coronavirus September 10, 2021

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The risk of infection and hospitalization from COVID-19 is significantly higher in unvaccinated people, but some fully vaccinated people are also being infected due to the contagiousness of the delta variant of the virus.

Though no vaccine is 100% effective, it is the best method to avoid contracting the virus or suffering a severe illness from a breakthrough infection, said Dr. Tami Brooks, Starkville physician and retired professor of pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine.

sliced bell peppers and cucumbers on a plate
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Nutrition and Wellness August 23, 2021

Whether you are tailgating or celebrating your favorite team at home this fall, food is always a part of the festivities. If you want to have some lighter fare at your gathering, this Spinach Dip Makeover will fit perfectly.

Two girls coloring.
Filed Under: Coronavirus August 19, 2021

With the uptick in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, it’s not uncommon to hear of loved ones and friends who have been infected or who are in quarantine due to exposure. Children, especially, may be confused, worried, and afraid about classmates, friends, and family members who are sick.

A woman stands in a kitchen with food products on the counter.
Filed Under: Food and Health, Food, Health, Nutrition and Wellness August 9, 2021

You’ve likely heard natural sugar is okay, while added sugars should be limited. But what's the difference and why does it matter?

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Your Extension Experts

Portrait of Dr. David Buys
Associate Professor
State Health Specialist
Portrait of Ms. Qula Madkin
Extension Instructor