Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, said Dr. Kelly Finan, a surgical oncologist with Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.
Cancer of the colon and rectum are also among the most treatable — almost 90 percent of patients survive, if detected early, and the tests to detect colon cancer early are among the most reliable, she said.
It’s also among the most stigmatized, Finan said.
“Nobody wants to think about it, nobody wants to talk about it, especially the colonoscopy,” she said.
It’s a lot better than it used to be, Finan said.
“The prep process has gotten a whole lot better, and we use sedation to do the procedure, so you fall asleep, wake up and you’re done,” she said.
She’s on a mission, along with many colon cancer survivors and other doctors, to desensitize Americans to talking about the colon.
“When you think about how much worse the treatment for colon cancer is once it’s advanced, and how much harder to get a good outcome, it’s so much easier to just get it done,” she said.
That’s why she’s picked up the banner for Get Your Rear in Gear 2015, a 5K run/walk with categories open for all ages, which will be Saturday at Pennington Biomedical Research Center, 6400 Perkins Road.
The event will raise money that will stay in the community, Finan said, to fund projects relating to prevention, early detection and treatment, and will include refreshments, shirts and medals for age group winners for the $30 entry fee.
Get Your Rear in Gear will also honor survivors of colon cancer, and those in our community who died from the disease.
For adults, a 5K run/walk will cost $30, a 5K run/walk for youth 12 and younger will cost $15, and a fun run, for ages 10 and younger, is $15.
Race day registration will be available, starting at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
Survivors can race for free, and those who cannot attend in person may sign up for the virtual race, $20 for adults, and $10 for children.
Packet pick-up is April 16 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Pennington Biomedical Research Center Conference Center, CB Pennington Junior Building, 6400 Perkins Road.
Use the Kennilworth entrance.
Packets can also be picked up at the race from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.