Preventing cancer at the Iowa State Fair

Published on August 15, 2019

Going to the state fair is not the healthiest activity that comes to mind. From fried Oreos to corn dogs, you can find nearly any junk food at summer fairs across the U.S., and the Iowa State Fair is no exception. But the fair is not just about trying the craziest junk food mash-ups—or, in the case of Iowa in 2019, campaigning for president. Since 2008, the Prevent Cancer Foundation® has partnered with the John Stoddard Cancer Center to bring cancer screenings and information about cancer prevention and early detection to Iowans. On this year’s opening day alone, more than 800 people visited the booth and 62 people received free skin cancer checks by a dermatology nurse practitioner.

For more than ten years, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Mrs. Barbara Grassley have served as honorary co-chairs of the health awareness and cancer screening booth. They stopped by the booth on August 9 to meet visitors and share resources on cancer prevention. The cause is a personal one for the Grassleys, as they credit early detection for Mrs. Grassley’s breast cancer diagnosis more than 30 years ago. It is also personal for Representative Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), who visited the booth to meet fairgoers and show his support for cancer prevention. Rep. Loebsack’s wife, Mrs. Terry Loebsack, is a melanoma survivor, and the Loebsacks are longtime advocates for cancer prevention and early detection. (Editor’s Note: Both Mrs. Loebsack and Mrs. Grassley are active members of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program – a bipartisan, bicameral initiative to raise awareness of cancer prevention and early detection and educate the public.)

The booth is still open at the fair, and volunteers are handing out sunscreen, sunglasses and information. If you are in town, stop by the booth in Farm Bureau Park August 16-18 to learn how to protect yourself from skin cancer—and spin the wheel to win a prize! For more details, visit the Facebook event page.

Learn more today about skin cancer and ways to reduce your risk while at a fair or any time you’re out in the sun!

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