The first Cancer Screen Week is already off to a great start. Founded by Genentech, the American Cancer Society, Stand Up To Cancer, and Rally Health, Cancer Screen Week is a new public health initiative that urges every American to join together to make a difference in the fight against cancer by pledging to get their recommended cancer screenings. Governors of Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Texas have already signed proclamations declaring the first week of December as “Cancer Screen Week” in their states, reinforcing the importance of cancer screening and early detection for their citizens.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), screening significantly increases the chances of detecting certain cancers early, when they are most likely to be treated successfully. Every pledge to get screened increases the potential impact “Cancer Screen Week” can have on saving more lives from cancer. This year, “Cancer Screen Week” will take place December 4-8, 2017, and annually thereafter the first week of December.
Even though about half of all men and a third of all women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, the overall cancer death rate has dropped by 25 percent over the past 20 years. Improvements in cancer screening and earlier detection of cancer have contributed to this progress. “Cancer Screen Week” is an annual call to action for everyone to talk to their doctor and get their recommended cancer screenings, many of which may be covered by insurance.
“The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 600,000 Americans were expected to die from cancer in 2017. Screening can catch many cancers early, when they’re most likely to be treated successfully. In fact, screening can actually prevent some cancers by finding and treating abnormalities that turn into cancer if left alone,” said Richard C. Wender, M.D., chief cancer control officer, The American Cancer Society. “‘Cancer Screen Week’ is a powerful reminder that it is possible to continue reducing cancer’s deadly toll through recommended regular screenings.”
Individuals can visit www.GetScreenedNow.org to take the pledge to get screened and receive a personalized list of recommended screenings, plus a list of simple actions they can take to help lower their risk for certain types of cancers. People who take the pledge are urged to encourage their family and friends to take the pledge as well. Employers and providers can visit www.CancerScreenWeek.org to find turnkey, customizable campaign materials they can use to promote cancer screenings among their employee and patient populations.
“We want to encourage people to take the ‘Get Screened Now’ pledge to find out what screenings are recommended for them, and then to talk to their doctor about cancer screening,” said Adam Bernstein, M.D., Sc.D., chief medical officer, Rally Health. “These simple steps might just save their life.”
“If collectively we can improve the rates for recommended cancer screenings, we have the potential to change the trajectory of cancer,” said Edith Perez, M.D., vice president and head of BioOncology, U.S. Medical Affairs, Genentech. “Awareness and education are important to be the best advocate for yourself and your loved ones.”
“We are proud to help launch ‘Cancer Screen Week’ to educate everyone that screening is the first line of defense in the fight against cancer,” said Stand Up To Cancer president and CEO Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N. “Following the screening guidelines will help people identify many cancers as early as possible, which means patients and their doctors will have more time to get the treatments that are best for them. Taking the pledge to get screened is an empowering first step.”