March 1, 2012
Colon Cancer Alliance Spotlights Family Health History as
Part of March’s National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
[Washington, DC] – Family health history is always important, but this year, the Colon Cancer Alliance is encouraging communities throughout the nation to join them in starting conversations about family health history this March during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The Colon Cancer Alliance joins the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, a collaboration of over 60 organizations dedicated to increasing colorectal cancer screening rates, in launching the Family PLZ! campaign. Family PLZ! is a national campaign to help promote the importance of knowing your family history of colorectal cancer and colon polyps, with the underlying message that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable.
It is imperative to know your family history and how it can impact your colon health. Colorectal cancer is one of only a few cancers that can often be prevented through screening, yet it remains the third-leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. Everyone age 50 and older should get screened for colon cancer, but those at high risk or with a family history of the disease should talk to their doctor about being screened earlier.
Most cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed in people with no family history of the disease. However, the risk of developing the disease doubles for those who do have a family history. The Colon Cancer Alliance urges individuals to learn about their family’s colorectal cancer history and share it with their doctor. The Family PLZ! campaign raises awareness of the importance of knowing one’s family health history and provides tools to help people research and talk to their families about colorectal cancer. To access these tools and more information, please visit www.familyplz.org.
“The Colon Cancer Alliance is a leader in the national effort to increase colorectal cancer awareness and promote the importance of family history and screening. Getting people to talk to their families and doctors about colorectal cancer is the first step toward eradicating this disease,” stated Andrew Spiegel, Chief Executive Officer of the Colon Cancer Alliance.
About the Family PLZ! Campaign
The Family PLZ! Campaign emerged out of a partnership formed to develop a mixed media campaign that filled a gap in communications tools around family to family and patient to physician conversations about colorectal cancer. While all family health history is important, colorectal cancer presents special challenges, because a person needs to know not just their family health history of the disease, but also their family history of colon polyps.
Developed by the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation, the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, Colon Cancer Alliance, the American Cancer Society, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and other partners, the development of the campaign emerged after a multi-disciplinary team of students from the social impact department Designmatters at Art Center were challenged to develop a campaign leveraging family members as agents of change. The campaign targets people ages 18 to 45 with a message about understanding family health history, with the goal of increasing screening adherence. The campaign encourages young people to start talking to family members about their family history of colorectal cancer or polyp, spurs young people to take the action step of "searching and sharing their family's health history,” while reiterating the message that colorectal cancer screening should begin at 50 for those without a family history. For more information about Designmatters, visit: artcenter.edu/designmatters. For more information about the campaign, visit familyplz.org.
About the Colon Cancer Alliance
The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is the nation's leading colorectal cancer patient advocacy organization which provides hope and support to patients and their families, while saving lives through screening, access, awareness, advocacy and research. Visit www.ccalliance.org for more information.