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IU Simon Cancer Center goes to the state fair with fun UV bracelets, healthy cooking demonstrations, cancer study, and more

  

INDIANAPOLIS -- (Aug. 3, 2009) -- How can you teach kids the importance of protecting their skin from the sun while still having fun?

Bring them to the Indiana State Fair where volunteers with the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center will help them make UV bracelets to learn how sunscreens protect them.  White beads on a bracelet without any sunscreen applied to them turn different colors when exposed to sunlight.  The different colors tell the bracelet wearer that he or she isn’t protected. When coated with sunscreen while still indoors, the beads remain white outdoors. The white beads means the sun’s harmful UV rays are being blocked.

The UV bracelets are available to the first 300 kids Aug. 16 and 17.

Also, colon cancer test kits, a cancer study, healthy cooking demonstrations, and more will be offered by the IU Simon Cancer Center during the fair.  The activities are:

Cancer research study: Aug. 7-9 & Aug. 14-16
A small drop of blood can provide researchers with countless clues into cancer. You can help researchers at the IU Simon Cancer Center by donating a blood sample for the study called IU-CABS – the Indiana University Cancer Biomarker Study -- led by Noah Hahn, M.D., assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a physician/researcher at the IU Simon Cancer Center.

The study will help identify genetic and environmental risk factors that lead to the development of cancer. Each participant will be asked to provide a one-time blood sample and complete a basic medical history questionnaire.

You can participate in the study from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7 through Sunday, Aug. 9 and Friday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 16.

Healthy cooking demos: Aug. 10, 15 & 20

A healthy, balanced diet can play a role in helping to prevent cancer.

Clarian Health’s executive chef provides a cooking demonstration from noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, while Side Street Deli offers cooking and tasting demonstrations at noon Saturday, Aug. 15 and Thursday, Aug. 20. The demonstrations focus on eating healthy and cooking the right foods to lower cancer risks.

Learn about the cancer center’s CompleteLife Program: Aug. 11-13

Music, art, massage, yoga, and more make up the IU Simon Cancer Center’s unique CompleteLife program. The program’s art offerings include colorful mosaics, which will be on display. Made by people whose lives are affected by cancer, the mosaics help to describe a person’s journey with cancer.

You can learn about the CompleteLife program Tuesday, Aug. 11 through Thursday, Aug. 13.

Free fecal immunochemical tests available while supplies last

Free fecal immunochemical tests (FIT), which are the best non-invasive alternative test to a colonoscopy, will be available while supplies last. FIT, a method of testing stool for occult blood, has recently become widely available in the United States. FIT requires fewer samples and no diet or medication restrictions prior to stool sampling. Individuals may then complete the test in the comfort of their own home and return it by mail at their convenience.

Individuals over the age of 50, or those over the age of 40 with a family history of colon cancer, should be screened for colorectal cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer. However, it is one of the few cancers for which there are effective screening tests. It has been estimated that two-thirds of colorectal cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented by routine screening beginning at age 50.

Where are these activities?

All events take place in the Clarian Healthy Lifestyles Pavilion, located on the southwest side of the fairgrounds. The pavilion is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the duration of the fair, Aug. 7-23.