BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Cancer of the colon or rectum is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States and local health experts say Louisiana has the 4th highest colorectal cancer mortality rate in the United States.

According to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), Louisiana’s cases are as high as 44.9 per 100,000 residents.

The American Cancer Society points out that early detection can be life-saving, saying, “Screening can often find colorectal cancer early, when it’s small, hasn’t spread, and might be easier to treat. Regular screening can even prevent colorectal cancer. A polyp can take as many as 10 to 15 years to develop into cancer. With screening, doctors can find and remove polyps before they have the chance to turn into cancer.”

This is why the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) is hosting a free Colorectal Cancer Screening Event this summer.

The screening is for individuals aged 45-75 and will be held July 13 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Milton J. Womack Park Ballroom (6201 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70806).

The screening is sponsored by Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center in Baton Rouge , AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana, and Southeast Community Health Systems.

BREC invites interested individuals to obtain additional information related to the event by calling (225) 272-9200.