MADISON, Wis., March 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Grammy and Emmy award winner, and Tony award nominee, the multi-talented musician, singer and actor Harry Connick, Jr. and his wife of 24 years and former model, Jill Connick, recently marked the fifth anniversary of Jill's recovery from breast cancer. As Jill credits timely screening and early detection for being a cancer survivor today, she is joining Harry to share their experience and to raise awareness of another cancer for which timely screening is critical: colon cancer.* Their efforts will support The New 50, a public education campaign sponsored by Exact Sciences, that debuts today during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The initiative aims to encourage people 50 and older to talk with their healthcare provider about screening, including the modern, noninvasive options that can fit into any schedule of this busy on-the-go "new 50" generation.
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Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men and women combined, claiming over 50,000 lives each year.1 Despite this, approximately 35 million people are not current with screening, as recommended.2 The New 50 campaign aims to make a difference in those numbers as 90 percent of colon cancers can be treated if detected early.3
"I know firsthand the value of early detection," said Connick. "Sadly, my own mother lost her battle with ovarian cancer when I was only 13 years old, but Jill and I are so grateful that a routine mammogram and sonogram found her breast cancer in the early stages, which we believe saved her life. Now that we are on the other side of that experience, we want to spread the word about the life-saving importance of timely screening, in particular for colon cancer, a disease for which screening rates are way too low." Connick, who was recently screened for colon cancer, added, "I was surprised to learn that colon cancer is the most preventable yet least prevented cancer. Jill and I are eager to do what we can to remind folks 50 and older how important and easy it is now to get screened."
Sponsored by Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS), the initiative is also supported by leading colon cancer advocacy groups, including the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC), and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation. These organizations have made it their mission to support people impacted by colon cancer through education, support and research.
About The New 50 and Noninvasive Screening Methods
Thanks to advances in science and medicine, people are living longer and healthier than previous generations – changing what it means to be 50 today. The New 50 campaign spotlights a modern screening option, Cologuard®, which uses advanced technology to detect changes in stool DNA that indicate cancer and precancer. "Many of my patients understand the importance of colon cancer screening, but fear the more traditional tests which involve uncomfortable preparation, sedation and time off work," said Dr. Jacqueline Champlain, a family medicine physician at Austin Regional Clinic. "Modern screening options, like Cologuard, break down these barriers, and give me the opportunity to offer my patients an effective and convenient solution that can be used in the privacy of home and does not interrupt their lives. That's the beauty of being 50 today – patients have options and they just need to talk to their healthcare provider to determine the one that is right for them – because that is the one that will get done."
Over the next year, as part of The New 50 campaign, Harry and Jill will travel cross-country – to Austin, Denver, Detroit, Phoenix, Tampa and Harry's hometown of New Orleans – to host community events where they will share their experience with cancer and educate people on the importance of timely colon cancer screening. In both local and national forums, the Connicks will invite the thousands of people age 50 and older who have not yet been screened to join them in the #ScreenWithMe Challenge which includes pledging to take action to get screened and encouraging three of their loved ones to do the same. The challenge will generate a $1 donation per pledge to support colon cancer research and advocacy undertaken by campaign partners: Fight Colorectal Cancer, Colorectal Cancer Alliance and the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation.
To learn more, visit www.New50.com.
About Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr. has exemplified excellence in every aspect of the entertainment world. The newly 50 and multi-talented musician, singer and actor has received recognition with multiple Grammy and Emmy awards as well as Tony nominations for his musical performances, his achievements on screens large and small, and his appearances on Broadway as both an actor and a composer. To celebrate all of these successes, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce selected Harry Connick, Jr. to receive a star on their celebrated Hollywood Walk of Fame as part of their Class of 2018 Honorees.
Harry has done some of his most important work in helping his native New Orleans rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Harry's contributions to the post-Katrina effort have been acknowledged with a Redbook Strength and Spirit Award, honorary degrees from Tulane and Loyola Universities, a 2010 National Building Museum Honor and the 2012 Jefferson Award for Public Service.
Harry and his wife of 24 years, former model and cancer survivor Jill Connick, have three daughters, Georgia, Kate and Charlotte.
About Colorectal Cancer Alliance
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with a nation of passionate allies, the organization diligently supports the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; eagerly raises awareness of preventative screening; and continually strives to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, the Alliance is fiercely determined to end colorectal cancer. For more information, visit ccalliance.org.
About Fight Colorectal Cancer
Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) is a trusted national nonprofit advocacy organization fighting for a cure. It was founded in 2005 by Nancy Roach, a patient advocate who witnessed the need for colorectal cancer advocacy after her mother-in-law's diagnosis. The organization plays an important role in rallying colorectal cancer advocates to action. Fight CRC is known for activism and patient empowerment throughout patient, academic, political, scientific, medical and nonprofit communities. With a mission focused on advocacy, research, patient education and awareness, the organization serves advocates in every state of the U.S. and many others around the world. Fight CRC is rated Platinum by nonprofit monitoring group GuideStar and is a 4-star charity by Charity Navigator. To learn more, visit FightCRC.org.
About the Vince Lombardi Cancer Foundation
Established in 1971, the foundation embodies the spirit, enthusiasm and commitment to excellence of Green Bay Packer Coach Vince Lombardi, who lost his own battle to cancer on September 3, 1970. In his honor, the foundation is committed to raising funds for advancements in cancer research and compassionate care. For more information about the foundation or to donate, sponsor an event or to buy tickets to an event, visit: lombardifoundation.org.
About Exact Sciences Corp. and Cologuard:
Exact Sciences Corp. is a leading molecular diagnostic company and the maker of Cologuard, a, noninvasive screening test for people age 50 and older with average risk for colon cancer. Included among recommended colon cancer screening options by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines, Cologuard is the only FDA-approved test of its kind that uses advanced technology to detect changes in stool DNA that can indicate precancer and cancer.4,5
Cologuard was approved by the FDA in August 2014 and results from Exact Sciences' prospective 90-site, point-in-time, 10,000-patient pivotal trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in April 2014. Cologuard is included in the American Cancer Society's (2014) colorectal cancer screening guidelines and the recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016) and National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2016).
Cologuard is indicated to screen adults of either sex, 50 years or older, who are at average risk for colorectal cancer. Cologuard is not for everyone and is not a replacement for diagnostic colonoscopy or surveillance colonoscopy in high-risk individuals. False positives and false negatives do occur. Any positive test result should be followed by a diagnostic colonoscopy. Following a negative result, patients should continue participating in a screening program at an interval and with a method appropriate for the individual patient. Cologuard performance when used for repeat testing has not been evaluated or established. For more information about Cologuard, visit www.cologuardtest.com. Rx Only.
For more information on Exact Sciences, please visit the company's website at www.exactsciences.com, follow Exact Sciences on Twitter @ExactSciences or find Exact Sciences on Facebook.
1 American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer. American Cancer Society website. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html. Last revised January 4, 2018. Accessed January 29, 2018.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital signs: colorectal cancer tests save lives. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/colorectalcancerscreening. Updated November 7, 2013. Accessed February 9, 2016.
3 Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Bishop K, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2014, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2014/, based on November 2016 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2017. Accessed February 9, 2018
4 Imperiale TF, Ransohoff DF, Itzkowitz, et al. Multitarget stool DNA testing for colorectal-cancer screening. N Engl J Med. 2014;370(14):1287-1297.
5 Bibbins-Domingo K, Grossman DC, Curry SJ, et al; for US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016;315(23):2564-2575.
* When the term colon cancer is used in this document, it is intended to encompass colorectal cancer – which includes both colon and rectal cancer.
SOURCE Exact Sciences Corporation