The Colon Cancer Coalition, a nonprofit organization that encourages grassroots efforts to promote colon cancer awareness and screening, is partnering with Olympus Corporation of the Americas (OCA) to try to achieve an 80 percent colon cancer screening rate in the United States.
Almost 96,000 Americans a year are diagnosed with colon cancer, and the disease has become the second leading cancer killer for men and women, according to the American Cancer Society. But colon cancer is also the most detectable and treatable form of cancer, if detected early.
The Colon Cancer Coalition used a National Colorectal Cancer Round Table analysis to set a goal of an 80 percent U.S. screening rate by 2018. Attaining the goal would prevent more than 203,000 deaths in 2030, the coalition said.
Olympus makes medical devices that can peer inside the body to detect, diagnose, and treat gastrointestinal diseases like colon cancer. It developed the endoscope more than 60 years ago.
The company is a national sponsor at the Colon Cancer Coalition’s Get Your Rear in Gear five-kilometer runs and other fitness events. In addition to supporting the non-profit financially, Olympus will be participating in community outreach events in Boston, San Francisco and Seattle.
Two of the partnership’s goals are to help the coalition reach new audiences across the country and increase the number of people getting screened for colon cancer.
To lead by example, Olympus is offering its employees and their spouses or domestic partners a free annual colonoscopy regardless of their age. It is also encouraging wellness, physical activity, and colon cancer-related education efforts. In addition, it is encouraging employee participation in fundraisers and other events that benefit the Colon Cancer Coalition’s efforts in their communities.
“We believe it is our responsibility to help raise awareness of colon cancer,” Nacho Abia, president and chief executive officer of Olympus, said in a press release. “Olympus will serve as an advocate to increase public education and encourage prevention and treatment of this disease. Our relationship with Colon Cancer Coalition accelerates our ability to achieve our mission of contributing to society by making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling around the world.”
“We know how to detect and prevent the spread of colon and rectal cancer and [we] can be most effective when discovering the diseases at their earliest and most treatable stages,” added Anne Carlson, the coalition’s executive director. “We are proud of the work our volunteers do around the country to increase screening rates in their communities, and are thankful to Olympus for their continued support and help to amplify the screening and education efforts happening in the areas we serve.”