Free Cancer Prevention Class Offered by UR Medicine

Conducted through Zoom once a week for eight weeks, it will raise awareness for early screening 

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

The number of New Yorkers diagnosed with cancer annually has increased steadily since the 1970s, while the number of individuals who die as of result of cancer has decreased, according to the New York State Cancer Registry. 

UR Medicine believes that these trends indicate cancer screenings, early detection and healthful lifestyle all contribute to fewer cancer deaths.

“Screening rates for colon, breast, and cervical cancers are all low due to the pandemic,” said Hannah Farley, program facilitator for UR Medicine’s Promote Health Prevent Cancer program and community liaison for Cancer Services Program at FF Thompson Hospital. “We really want to raise awareness that these screenings can be life-saving and to encourage individuals to call their physicians and get their screenings scheduled, especially if they put it off last year.”

Participants in the program join in eight free, weekly classes via Zoom, including 40 minutes of nutrition education and 20 minutes of exercise. In addition to education, the classes provide motivation to improve health long-term.

“There are lifestyle recommendations, including maintaining healthy weight, staying physically active, limiting consumption of red and processed meats—as they’re related to increased risk of certain cancers—limiting alcohol and breastfeeding if you can,” Farley said.

In addition to the classes, participants receive a wellness “toolkit” including an exercise band, food diary, exercise journal and physical portion plate.

Farley said certified experts lead the classes and the classes are suitable for all ages, including active, older adults.

The next session is Mondays 5 – 6 p.m. Aug. 9 to Oct. 4. Highspeed internet access is required to participate. Anyone interested should contact Farley at 315-401-1945 or

Anyone underinsured and struggling with the cost of screenings and cancer care may receive assistance from Cancer Services Program of the Finger Lakes Region. Call 877-803-8070 or

“We know that certain cancer screenings can prevent some cancers and find some early before there are more potential complications with the treatment,” Farley said. “We want to find cancers early or potentially before they begin such as cervical or colon cancer. With breast cancer, we want to find it early on when it’s easier to treat with procedures like prp injections. More women have been diagnosed, but fewer women have passed away because of early screenings. We know these screenings can save lives and they’re effective in preventing death.”