Meeting addresses Western Slope cancer statistics, prevention

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A public meeting will be held at The Memorial Hospital in Craig Monday, Oct. 16 from noon to 1:13 p.m. to present the results of a study entitled, "Cancer in Western Colorado: 1996-1998" conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Residents in Moffat, Routt, Jackson, Rio Blanco, Grand and surrounding counties are invited to learn how the Western Slope ranks within the state in terms of cancer rates. Information about lifestyle changes that can help reduce the risk of cancer will also be presented.

"There are a lot of components," said Marilyn Bouldin of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). "It's breast cancer awareness month, so we'll focus on things like mammograms. It's also important for people to get regular blood tests and sigmoidoscopies," Bouldin said.

Bouldin also stressed the importance of reducing tobacco and alcohol use.

"I saw the executive summary of the report, and the thing that hit me the most was the statement that said smokeless tobacco use in the four Western Colorado regions, which is most of Western Colorado, are 46 percent higher than the state average."

Bouldin said that melanoma in the western regions is higher than the state rate, but prostate and colon cancers occur at a lower than average rate.

The report is the second of a series of reports that focus on different regions of the state and utilize county-specific data as well as behavioral risk survey data for these counties.

Bouldin asks that people wishing to attend this meeting should RSVP to her by Monday at 824-8233.

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