WICHITA COUNTY, TX (KAUZ) - The Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District is hoping to reduce the amount colon and cervical cancer cases in the county with a new program.
On Tuesday, Wichita Falls council members passed an ordinance for the health district to receive a $130,000 grant for a cancer control program.
The Department of State Health Services approached the health district about the grant. Officials reached out because of how high the rates of cervical and colon cancer are in the county.
With that money, the health district will hire two new staff members to bring awareness to those high rates and encourage people to get screened for colon cancer and vaccinated for cervical cancer.
This is an issue that hits close to home at the health district because their last lab director was diagnosed with colon cancer after getting screened too late.It led to a death they believe could have been prevented.
"For us here at the health department, that's something that hits very close to home," Director of Health, Lou Kreidler said. "And the importance of having that type of screening is important because we know what the outcome is if you don't."
Kreidler said people should start talking with their doctor about regular screenings for colon cancer once they turn 50-years-old. She said the series of vaccinations for cervical cancer should be received when you are 13 to 16-years-old.
Kreidler said in her 17 years as Director of Health, they have never received a grant like this one. She believes the education and awareness will help reduce the number of people diagnosed with those two diseases.
Kreidler said if you can prevent cancer early, why not? She encourages people with questions to call or visit the health district or your doctor.