March 28, 2007 | By: Carol Lea Spence
LEXINGTON, KY.

Floyd County is in the top five Kentucky counties when it comes to cancer occurrence and mortality. Theresa Scott is determined to help her county lose that designation, and she's using a video and the support of community groups to do it.

“Cancer: Preventable-Treatable-Beatable” is comprised of testimonials from eight cancer survivors who share their personal, often heartwarming experiences. Scott, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension agent for family and consumer sciences in Floyd County, hosted and co-produced the program. As she explained, she experienced the “power of media” while working on a local television show about cancer screenings.

“We have documentation from that media piece that, in fact, we know we saved one man’s life and potentially others,” she said. “So that was the inception of doing a DVD to reach people with this message.”

The purpose of the video is to promote regular screenings and cancer prevention through early detection, Scott said. One of the video’s participants, Roslyn Burchett, is a good example of the importance of early detection. She regularly joined fellow Floyd County Extension Homemakers for yearly ovarian screenings at the University of Kentucky. During one of those visits, the UK medical staff found stage three peritoneal cancer. That type of cancer is particularly hard to detect and, as Burchett explained in the video, she had had no hint anything was wrong. 

“That screening most likely saved her life,” Scott said.

Floyd County extension is working closely with the faith-based community to distribute the video. In a county with a population of 42,000 and more than 100 churches, Scott feels this is a particularly effective way to reach out to large groups of people.

“Certainly, it brings education out to the people from sources they respect, which are their clergy, their ministers, their churches and also from Cooperative Extension reaching them in a different way,” she said. 

The project, which encourages preventative health for both women and men, was produced by Good Tyme Productions in Floyd County. Funding was provided through the Floyd County Cooperative Extension Service and the Appalachian Community Based Cervical Cancer Outreach Demonstration Project through a grant funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Floyd County Cancer Coalition partners. 

Scott recognizes that the need for this video crosses her county’s borders.

“Funding isn’t always available to create your own (video), so we have made provisions to reach out beyond the county and also to any churches or faith organizations throughout the state that want to show this,” she said.

For information on how to obtain copies of the DVD and accompanying resource notebook, contact Scott by telephone at 606-886-2668 or through email at tmscott@uky.edu.

The video ends poignantly with a tribute to Tammy Kinney by her brother, songwriter Jeff Branham. Kinney passed away from cancer in 2005. 

“Please, take time to have your regular cancer screenings and ask your doctor those all important questions,” Branham says in the piece. “Do it for those you love and for those who love you.”
 

Contact: 

Theresa Scott, 606-885-2668