Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A statewide campaign can be seen in the streets of downtown Binghamton. Businesses on Main Street are going blue for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
Participating stores are handing out information on free cancer screenings and giving out small gifts.
Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States.
Broome County's Supervising Public Health educator says that statistic saddens her because it's a form of cancer that can actually be prevented by having an annual screening.
"Colon polyps can become cancerous, so once you have a colonoscopy, during the procedure they can actually remove the polyps right there before they have a chance to turn into cancer, so essentially preventing cancer and could save your life," said Carrie Abbott of the Broome County Health Department.
Anyone uninsured and between the ages of 50-64 can get a free screening offered by the Cancer Services Program in Broome, Tioga, and Chenango counties.
"It's not one of the more popular cancers, you know people don't want to talk about it. They don't want to talk about their colon, they don't want to talk about the rectum, they don't want to talk about stool," Abbott said. "There's an ick factor and there's a fear factor as well. So people aren't getting screened for it which is really unfortunate because it can actually prevent colon cancer from happening in the first place."
Participating businesses include River Read Books, Old World Deli, J&A Discounts, Friend's Groceries, Sall-Stearns Fine Men's Clothing and Tailoring, First Niagara, Uptown Style and Spa, Imagicka, Sip of Seattle, Ellis Brother's and Joseph Inc., and Despina's Mediterranean Taste.