Raising public awareness about colorectal cancer is important because early detection is the key to successful treatment and saving lives. Thanks to the efforts of these seven celebrities, more people are learning about colon cancer and the importance of making regular screening a part of their preventative health care routines.
1. Meryl Streep
Actress, Meryl Streep, recently recorded a public service announcement (PSA) about colon cancer for the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance. The PSA is part of the National Colorectal Action Campaign’s Screen for Life program, a campaign that’s currently being produced in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control. In the ad, Streep urges viewers to learn about colon cancer and get screened for it.
2. Terrence Howard
Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated actor/musician, Terrence Howard, also participated in a PSA for the Screen for Life program. Howard talks about losing his mother to colon cancer in the ad and encourages viewers to “let my heartbreak be your wake-up call” to get screened regularly.
3. Carmen Marc Valvo
Celebrity fashion designer, Carmen Marc Valvo, hid the fact that he had colon cancer for two years after his diagnosis. When the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance began planning a public awareness campaign to coincide with New York Fashion Week in 2005, he realized he owed it to others to share his story. Valvo spoke at Fashion Week about how being screened for colon cancer early saved his life, as well as what it was like to battle cancer in silence. Since then, he’s continued to talk about his experience in an effort to reduce the stigma surrounding colon cancer and he strongly supports early detection.
4. Craig Campbell
Country singer, Craig Campbell, who lost his father to colon cancer, gave a free performance at New York’s Grand Central Station to help kick off National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The concert was part of a day-long event that provided free education about colon cancer and colon cancer screening. It was co-sponsored by Fight Colorectal Cancer, a patient advocacy organization, and Bayer HealthCare.
5. Sharon Osbourne
After surviving her own bout with colon cancer, Sharon Osbourne has become an active advocate for early screening. She explained that she had no warning signs or symptoms, and if it weren’t for her husband Ozzy’s insistence on getting tested, she wouldn’t have been diagnosed until it was too late.
6. Katie Couric
Katie Couric is one of the most well-known colon cancer advocates in the entertainment industry, in part because of her decision to film herself receiving a colonoscopy for broadcast on the Today Show. Couric’s efforts to support cancer awareness and research include co-founding the organization, Stand Up To Cancer, as well as the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.
7. Larry The Cable Guy
Dan Whitney, otherwise known as Larry The Cable Guy, recently turned 50, the age when individuals should start receiving regular screenings for colon cancer. To mark the occasion and in support of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, he created an online video of his first colonoscopy. The video, which can be viewed on St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center’s website, aims to demystify the colonoscopy experience, as well as reduce the stigma associated with colon cancer screening.
Photo courtesy of El_Sol
Colon cancer can be a difficult topic to discuss. Celebrities have an important part to play in encouraging honest discussion about the disease, as well as promoting regular screening. If this year’s National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month’s efforts are any indication, celebrities are embracing their role as advocates and finding innovative ways to reach the people who need to hear their message.provangardt