Cleveland Clinic, Cavs Team Up for Colon Cancer Awareness

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CLEVELAND, OH - March 4, 2010 - Cleveland Clinic and the Cleveland Cavaliers will collaborate to promote awareness and prevention of colorectal cancer with the campaign, “Score Against Colon Cancer” throughout March as part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., but five-year survival rates for early-stage patients at Cleveland Clinic is above 90 percent.

Cleveland Clinic and the Cavaliers are spearheading the effort by creating awareness and providing free risk assessments to individuals that will provide information and guidance on creating a plan for prevention. The campaign kicks off with Colon Cancer Awareness Night at the Cavs vs. San Antonio Spurs basketball game on Monday, March 8th.

“Colorectal cancer is very preventable if you are aware of your risk factors and then receive proper screenings," said Cleveland Clinic gastroenterologist Carol Burke, MD.

At current rates, one in 18 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime, and the risk may be doubled or tripled depending on risk factors, mainly family history.

"Every colorectal cancer starts off as a precancerous polyp, which can be removed. This greatly reduces the risk of cancer developing," said Burke.

Other common risk factors which increase the likelihood of developing colon cancer include age, smoking, being overweight or obese and a diet that is low in fiber, high in both fat and processed meats. Studies also show higher incidence among African Americans.

The Cleveland Clinic colon cancer risk assessment hotline can be accessed 24 hours per day at ClevelandClinic.org/Score.

The schedule of events for March includes:

Monday, March 8 – Colon Cancer Awareness Night at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cavs take on San Antonio and all fans in attendance will receive blue t-shirts in recognition of the campaign. Cleveland Clinic nurses will have tables along the arena concourse and provide a questionnaire-based colon cancer risk assessment.

Tuesday, March 9 – Health Talk, “Everyday Tips to Help You Prevent Colon Cancer”
Cleveland Clinic physicians from the Digestive Disease Institute and Taussig Cancer Institute will address topics and answer questions related to colon cancer.
Topics include:
  • Obesity, weight loss and your colon cancer risk
  • Examining probiotics and their effect on digestive health
  • The benefit of knowing your family history
Monday, March 22 – Colon Cancer Webchat
Cleveland Clinic physicians discuss medical, surgical and cancer treatment options and answer questions online.

Additional information can be found at ClevelandClinic.org/Score.

About the Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Institute
The Digestive Disease Institute at Cleveland Clinic is among the nation’s only integrated diagnosis and treatment centers combining gastrointestinal and colorectal specialists. The institute is ranked second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report's 2009 Best Hospitals Survey and offers expertise in advanced endoscopy, minimally-invasive surgery, hepatobiliary and transplant surgery, nutrition therapy and support, pancreatic-biliary disorders, inflammatory bowel diseases and swallowing and esophageal conditions.

About Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute
The Taussig Cancer Institute is one of 26 institutes at Cleveland Clinic that group multiple specialties together to provide collaborative, patient-centered care. More than 250 cancer specialists annually serve 26,000 cancer patients, applying the most effective techniques to achieve long-term survival and improved quality of life. Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit, multispecialty academic medical center. Founded in 1921, it is dedicated to providing quality specialized care and includes an outpatient clinic, a hospital with more than 1,000 staffed beds, an education institute and a research institute. Taussig’s Web site address is http://my.clevelandclinic.org/cancer/