Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Advocate for Screening

March 11, 2016 | Pamela Youngberg Dickson

As pharmacists, we have a unique opportunity to advocate for our patients health—particulary when it comes to encouraging our patients to get regular health screenings. Screening for colorectal cancer is no exception. After all, the target group for colorectal screening—adults aged 50 and over—is likely to see their community pharmacist more often (maybe once a month?) than a primary care provider, who may only see them annually.

How can we make a difference? Here are a few ideas to implement during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and beyond:

  • Encourage the conversation about screening among health care colleagues (prescribers, nurses) and among patients and their families. Make sure that patients understand that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and that screening is THE MOST effective way to increase their chance of survival.
  • Include information about colorectal cancer in your other pharmacy communications, like newsletters, on your POS receipts, on your Facebook page, or on your prescription bags.
  • Consider hosting a health fair, in-store or other community event where you supply information about screening. Do a cooking demonstration that features high-fiber, low fat meal ideas. Or ask another health care professional with whom you partner to give an informal talk about the importance of screening.
  • Check into local 5K runs or other community events and host a water stand, a table at the starting line, or pass out a reminder (a high-fiber energy bar?) for participants and attendees to get screening.

CancerCommunity Health Pharmacy Tips

Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into gardening, renaissance history, the Big Ten, and exploring the great outdoors.