DANSVILLE — The kick-off for Main Street Goes Blue for Colon Cancer Awareness started on March 3.


The Livingston County Department of Health met with Noyes Health and state officials at the Dansville Public Library to talk about the importance of getting tested.


“We do this in every town in the county,” Livingston County Department of Health Director Jennifer Rodriguez said. “It is a statewide initiative that Grace (Flannery) coordinates locally. We kick it off countywide with a dress in blue and contests in the workplace.”


“We started this a few years back, because not many people were getting tested,” Rodriguez said. “Ever since we started doing this there have been a lot more participants. Awareness is the key. The number of colonoscopies increases in March. Early diagnosis is key to prevention.”


This very successful event has been saving lives for several years.


Livingston County Department of Health Program Outreach Coordinator Grace Flannery said she has been collaborating with Noyes Health.


“We do health fairs to educate where I can,” she said. “I have been visiting businesses and trying to get them to go blue.”


Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard said they have always had a great working relationship with the Livingston County Department of Health. Pollard said that getting tested when you turn 50 is a great birthday present to yourself.


“We do a lot of education on this with our staff and anyone who walks into the lobby,” she said. “They go through the whole procedure. We have been doing this in our county for a long time.”


Assemblyman Joseph Errigo added that it is foolish not to get it done, because it saves lives.


”It is foolish not to take advantage of this,” he said. “If you want to live you need to get screened. It saves lives. I want people to understand the importance of this test. People can have symptoms for a long time, and not even know they have it until it is too late. It is a very simple procedure, you won’t even know you got it done. If you are clear they see you in another 10 years.”


Main Street Goes Blue makes communities aware of the seriousness of this and that the only way to prevent it is to get screened.


Colon Cancer is one of the most common cancers in New York, and it is estimated one out of 20 people will get it in their lifetime.


About 10,000 people in the state get it every year, and more than 3,000 of them die from it. Many of them are not even aware they have it until it is too late. If you get regular screening done you can prevent it, and have the polyps removed before they get  cancerous.


According to the New York State Department of Health 68 percent of adults in this county get a screening based on the most recent guidelines. They are anywhere from 50 to 75 years old. The goal of the county is to get to 80 percent of adults get screened.


If you are 50 or older talk to your doctor about getting the test.