DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., March 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) is partnering with Kathy Ireland to ask people age 50 and older to embrace colorectal cancer screening. ASGE represents the doctors who specialize in endoscopy and colon cancer screening. The Public Service Ad (PSA) featuring Kathy, "Staying Healthy for Family," is a part of ASGE's public outreach initiatives for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month (NCRCAM) in March. The PSA can be found on ASGE's YouTube channel.
Colon cancer kills approximately 50,000 people each year, but it doesn't have to. Many of those deaths could be prevented with earlier detection. Women are at equal risk as men for colon cancer. Colonoscopy screening for colon (or colorectal) cancer is particularly valuable because it allows the doctor to find polyps - growths in the colon or rectum that may become cancer - and remove them before the polyps have the opportunity to turn into cancer.
ASGE members know that people often find the prospect of a colonoscopy daunting, particularly the first time. But with a little preparation and support, it doesn't have to be a big deal. So this year, ASGE's message for NCRCAM is simply: "Prep, Scope, Live."
"We want people to know that colonoscopy is worth the effort," said ASGE president Douglas O. Faigel, MD, FASGE. "We see patients every day who've been putting off getting the test because it doesn't sound like much fun. But once they make the effort, they tell us they are glad they had it done, and they don't know why they didn't do it sooner. Getting checked can actually prevent cancer, if you get screened early and regularly. So make your appointment, do your prep, get your colonoscopy, and then go enjoy life."
The PSA featuring Kathy directs viewers to ASGE's colon cancer awareness website, www.screen4coloncancer.org. The site offers visitors a wealth of information including facts about colon cancer and screening options, what to expect during a colonoscopy, answers to frequently asked questions, links to patient support and advocacy groups, informational videos, and how to find a qualified gastrointestinal endoscopist. It also includes brochures and a fun "Prep, Scope, Live" poster and bookmark.
Colon cancer is considered a silent killer because often there are no symptoms until it is too late to treat. Age is the single most important risk factor for the disease, so even people who lead a healthy lifestyle can still develop polyps and cancer. While colonoscopy is the most thorough test, and the only one that can prevent cancer by allowing for removal of polyps, there are other screening methods, including fecal occult blood test and flexible sigmoidoscopy. All men and women age 50 or over should talk with their doctor about the colon cancer screening method that is best for them. Colon cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable!
Kathy Ireland, who has been named by UCLA as one of the Top 10 Women's Health Advocates, is celebrated for her philanthropic activism and funding, working vigorously for the care and treatment of Downes disease, ADL, and in the war against HIV/AIDS. In addition to her service as Chair Person for the March of Dimes and work on numerous other health issues including her mother's annual 30 mile walk to fund breast cancer research. Kathy is, as well, a powerful activist for veterans, global poverty eradication, education and family issues, with a specific focus on women, children and families. She has been working with ASGE on the campaign for colorectal cancer screening and prevention since 2014.
About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with more than 14,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit www.asge.org and www.screen4coloncancer.org for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.
Endoscopy is performed by specially-trained physicians called endoscopists using the most current technology to diagnose and treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Using flexible, thin tubes called endoscopes, endoscopists are able to access the human digestive tract without incisions via natural orifices. Endoscopes are designed with high-intensity lighting and fitted with precision devices that allow viewing and treatment of the gastrointestinal system.
SOURCE American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy