Kevin Roof, MD and William Warlick, MD of SERO were amongst the 2300 plus walkers who came out in support of raising money for local community programs supporting patients with colorectal cancer. They were joined by Justin Favaro, MD, PhD from Oncology Specialists of Charlotte, Doug Rosen, MD of Charlotte Colon and Rectal Surgery, Adam Kuykendal, MD of Novant Health Cancer Specialists as well as a multitude of care providers from Novant Health Radiation Oncology including Therapists Rachel Hill, Rhonda Lawrence, and dosimetrist Patti Minyard to name just a few. SERO was a sponsor of the event.
This walk was the largest Get Your Rear in Gear event in Charlotte history with over 2300 participants. Over $151,000 was raised by participants, of which over 75% will stay in the Mecklenburg region to help local non-profit organizations working to support patients with colorectal cancer and or research for a cure for colorectal cancer. Multiple awards were given including the Sue Falco Determination Award named after Susan Falco one of the original organizers of the Charlotte Get Your Rear in Gear Walk who helped raise awareness about the disease and helped support other young people diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This year’s award was given to Mrs. Renee Branem a 1 yr survivor of stage III colorectal cancer who has worked hard to battle her cancer, and raise awareness about the disease.
The American Cancer Society has designated March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Amongst cancers that affect both men and women colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death. Approximately 140, 000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually, and over 50,000 Americans will die from their cancer. Symptoms of colon cancer can include blood in or on your stool (bowel movement), abdominal pain, pelvic pain, change in stool size or consistency and or unexplained weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms you should discuss them with your physician.
Even if you do not have symptoms screening of healthy patients over 50 has been shown to save lives. Screening has been shown to help prevent colon cancer by finding precancerous polyps which can be removed prior to them becoming cancers. Over 90% of colorectal cancer occurs in people over 50. Colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at 50, or sigmoidoscopy every five years with fecal occult blood test every three years or high sensitivity fecal occult blood tests annually. Other screening tests exist as well, and it is important to discuss with your physician what test is right for you. Studies suggest at least 60% of deaths from this cancer could be avoided with proper screening. Talk to your doctor about when to begin screening and how often you should be tested.