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Colorectal Cancer Alliance Partners with Olympus to Provide 50 Colonoscopies during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colonoscopies Guard Against the Second-Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths in the U.S.

Washington, D.C., April 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In an effort to save lives, Olympus provided funding to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (the Alliance) to screen 50 people for colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., during March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

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Among the 50 individuals screened with funding from Olympus was Roxanne Hopkins, a Phoenix woman whose mother had colorectal cancer, a disease that can be hereditary. Olympus provided funding to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance to screen 50 people for colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., during March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.


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Colonoscopies, a medical procedure that can identify malignant polyps in the large intestine, were provided nationwide to 50 in-need men and women who sought to know their health status—a comfort out of reach for many people who do not have insurance or other financial means to afford screening.

Screening is a critical step to identify and treat colorectal cancer, which is 90% beatable if caught early. The Alliance, which seeks to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime, advocates for screening by colonoscopy or one of the other approved methods.  

Among the 50 individuals screened with funding from Olympus was Roxanne Hopkins, a Phoenix woman whose mother had colorectal cancer, a disease that can be hereditary. Hopkins, however, is without health insurance and could not afford a colonoscopy.

“I was looking for ways to check myself—I’m approaching 50 pretty quickly,” Hopkins said. “My gratitude is just unbelievable.”

For most adults, doctors recommend that screenings start at age 50. Individual risk factors, such as ethnicity, lifestyle, and family history, may require earlier screening. A doctor can provide more information about how and when screening should begin.

Olympus funding also provided Clay Wilson with a clean colonoscopy and peace of mind. The 61-year-old man from Sarasota, Florida, doesn’t have insurance, so the price tag for a colonoscopy, which can be thousands of dollars, was simply too high.

“I wanted to take care of my health, and I’m grateful they could do this for us,” Wilson said.

Maryhelen, of Phoenix, lost her brother suddenly to colorectal cancer in 2014. Doctors discovered that her brother had Lynch Syndrome, a genetic condition that predisposes carriers to colorectal cancer. Before his death, Maryhelen promised her brother that she would get his son, Cyrus, screened for colorectal cancer.

The Olympus-Colorectal Cancer Alliance partnership provided that promised colonoscopy.

“Knowing that you have this gene and being able to stay on top of it is a gift,” Maryhelen said. “Early detection is what’s going to stop our family from being in my brother’s situation.”

While some results from the 50 colonoscopies remain pending, at least one case resulted in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

“Our partnership with Olympus demonstrates the incredible power of nonprofit and industry collaboration,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Alliance. “Providing these screenings during March, our awareness month, is particularly compelling. The importance of screening cannot be overstated.”

A recent report from the American Cancer Society showed a third of eligible adults have not been screened for colorectal cancer.

Olympus is the leading manufacturer of medical devices used to peer inside the human body to detect, diagnose and treat gastrointestinal diseases such as colon cancer. Olympus pioneered the development of endoscopic technology more than 60 years ago and remains a global leader today, helping to improve the lives of millions who have been diagnosed or screened for colon cancer.

About the Colorectal Cancer Alliance

The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with our nation of passionate allies, we diligently support the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; eagerly raise awareness of preventative screening; and continually strive to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, we are fiercely determined to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime. For more information, visit ccalliance.org

About Olympus

Olympus is a global technology leader, crafting innovative optical and digital solutions in medical technologies; life sciences; industrial solutions; and cameras and audio products. Throughout our nearly 100-year history, Olympus has focused on being true to society and making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling every day. Visit www.olympusamerica.com.

Attachments:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/426f572c-6927-476e-90a1-8755a6a10982

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/6beb4183-90a2-417e-81eb-cb1b34a03cfa

Steven Bushong
Colorectal Cancer Alliance
330-957-0484
sbushong@ccalliance.org