Olympus Encourages 50,000+ Americans to Get Screened for Colon Cancer With 'Find it First' Campaign

Colon Cancer Alliance, Colorectal Cancer Coalition to benefit from $50,000 donation

Sep 28, 2010, 09:30 ET from Olympus

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- 50,000(1) is the number of lives lost last year in the U.S. to colon cancer (commonly known as colorectal cancer), many of which could have been saved through screening. The recently launched "Find it First" campaign, sponsored by medical technology leader Olympus, addresses the importance of early detection by encouraging the same number of at-risk Americans* – and more – to commit to be screened for the disease. For each visitor making the commitment to be screened for colon cancer at FinditFirst.com, Olympus will donate one dollar (up to $50,000 total) to leading colon cancer advocacy groups: Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) and the Colorectal Cancer Coalition (The Coalition).

The "Find it First" campaign is part of Olympus' larger effort and ongoing commitment to raise awareness about colon cancer prevention, encourage detection through screening and improve national access to screening options to eradicate colon cancer. Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S.(2) Every 9.3 minutes someone dies from this disease(3), many never having known it's the most preventable and beatable cancer if detected early through proper screening.

"This is a truly important cause," said Representative Kathy Dahlkemper, (D-PA). "Educational efforts like this one are vital to fighting colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the United States. Screening and education saves lives. No one should have to lose the fight against colorectal cancer."

"We are thrilled to partner with Olympus on the 'Find it First' campaign," said Andrew Spiegel, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance. "One in 19 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and programs designed to raise awareness and drive people to screen, can help us reduce the incidence of this very preventable cancer."

Both CCA and the Coalition work to fight colorectal cancer through research, access to screening, support initiatives, education and advocacy efforts. In addition to making a commitment to be screened, consumers will be invited to join Olympus, CCA and the Coalition in urging their congressional representatives to support legislation that ensures all Americans access to life saving colon cancer screening.

"The Colorectal Cancer Coalition applauds Olympus for this innovative way to spread the message about getting screened for colon cancer," said Carlea Bauman, Executive Director, Colorectal Cancer Coalition. "The Coalition is proud to have worked on Capitol Hill for several years on the creation of the National Colorectal Cancer Screening Program. With this support from Olympus, we will be able to ramp up our efforts even more."

Both FinditFirst.com and CRCawareness.com, an Olympus-supported awareness website, provide consumers with the opportunity to learn more about latest colon cancer research, screening options, patient stories, risk assessments and other medical resources.

Click here to listen to a message from F. Mark Gumz, President and CEO of Olympus Corporation of the Americas, regarding the company's commitment to helping Americans "Find it First."

*At-risk refers to individuals age 50 or older, those with a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors who should be screened for colon cancer.

About Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA)

The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is the oldest and largest national patient advocacy organization dedicated to ending the suffering caused by colorectal cancer. In order to increase rates of screening and survivorship, the CCA provides patient support, public education, supports research and conducts advocacy work across America. As the Voice of Survivors, the CCA works as an advocate for colorectal cancer patients and their families. The CCA offers information and support from the first-hand experience of survivors and others whose lives have been touched by this disease.

About Colorectal Cancer Coalition (The Coalition)

The Colorectal Cancer Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that fights colorectal cancer through research, empowerment and access. The Coalition pushes for research to improve screening, diagnosis, and treatment of colorectal cancer; for policy decisions that make the most effective colorectal cancer prevention and treatment available to all; and for increased awareness that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable.

About Olympus

Olympus is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering innovative solutions in its core business areas: Medical and Surgical Products, Life Science Imaging Systems, Industrial Measurement and Imaging Instruments and Cameras and Audio Products.

For more information, visit www.olympusamerica.com.

(1) http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-key-statistics

(2) http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-key-statistics

(3) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17713990

Media Contacts

Megan Longenderfer, Olympus, (484) 896-5579, megan.longenderfer@olympus.com

Carlea Bauman, Colorectal Cancer Coalition, (703) 548-1225, carlea.bauman@fightcolorectalcancer.org

Tammy Ashton, Colon Cancer Alliance, (202) 434-8980, tashton@ccalliance.org

Carin Ganz, GolinHarris, (212) 373-6002, cganz@golinharris.com

SOURCE Olympus