Barbers Enlisted to Educate Clients About Colorectal Cancer - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Barbers Enlisted to Educate Clients About Colorectal Cancer

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A group of local barbers is part of a pilot project to educate their clients on preventing colorectal cancer. The project aims to save lives especially in the African-American community.

African-Americans contract colorectal cancer at a higher rate than all other races and their survival rate is worse than in other groups too. That's why UPMC Hamot Medical Center and the school of public health at Mercyhurst University teamed up to get creative on prevention.  They invited barbers from All in the Cut, Atkinson Barber Shop, Cleckley Barber Shop and Ruiz Barber shop to attend a special training session at UPMC Hamot, funded by a grant from the PA Department of Health.
    
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 50,000 people are expected to die this year from colorectal cancer and they are twice as likely to be African-American. Screenings could save more than half of those lives.  Experts now want black men to have their first colonoscopy at age 45  instead of the general recommendation of 50.  When the barbers heard the data, it was an easy sell to get them involved in spreading the word with their clients. In the black community, the barbershop is a cultural institution of trust and communication.

Marcus Cleckley and the other barbers in his shop participated in the training. "A lot of us didn't know about it," said Cleckley, "a lot of us in the community aren't really informed on the causes and on the screening process itself."  Cleckley plans to get screened now too.  "So even myself, I'm going to benefit from this because I've never had a screening, so now that I'm learning more about it, I'm a lot more interested and unafraid to have a screening now," he said.

David Dausey, Dean of the School of Public Health at Mercyhurst University said,  "One of the things we know is that barbers really know what's going on in the community, they know people very well, see people very frequently, they know about their family, their history that level of detail that's why we think they will be an excellent choice."
   
The pilot project takes place during the month of June.  If your barber shares some health information, pay attention, because colorectal cancer is preventable if you get screened and catch it early. 
Submit your event now
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