March 9, 2001

Baby boomers, others invited to learn about colon cancer

Featured Image

In recognition of his 25 years as Dean of the Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Dr. John E. Chapman was invited to take a spin on the Zamboni last week at a Nashville Predators hockey game. (photo by John Russell)

Hey, Baby Boomer – have you had your colon cancer screening yet?

The oldest Baby Boomers are hitting 55 this year, well into the age range where regular screening for colon cancer – the second-largest cancer killer – is recommended.

To help the community become more savvy about colorectal cancer and its prevention, the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center will co-host two free events during March, which is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

The first, co-hosted by Wild Oats Market, will be Tuesday, March 13, at 11:30 12:30 p.m. at Wild Oats, 3909 Hillsboro Road in Green Hills.

Dr. Raymond N. DuBois, Vanderbilt-Ingram’s associate director for cancer prevention, will discuss colorectal cancer awareness and prevention followed by dietician Barbara Joines, who will discuss diet and colorectal cancer. The event will include time for audience question and answers, and will conclude with a recipe presentation and tasting.

The second event, co-hosted by the Maryland Farms YMCA, will be Tuesday, March 20, at 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the YMCA, 5101 Maryland Way in Brentwood.

Jackie Beekly, research nurse for the Polyp Prevention Trial at Vanderbilt-Ingram, will discuss awareness and prevention, followed by dietician Lynn Henderson. Ted Cornelius, wellness director for the Maryland Farms YMCA, will lead a discussion about how to maximize exercise benefits. There will also be a healthy recipe tasting.

The Polyp Prevention Trial is testing the potential of aspirin-like drugs to prevent the formation of precancerous growths in the colon in patients who have already had one polyp removed. Left alone, these polyps would transform over time into cancer.

This is the second official Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, designated by the U.S. Congress to raise awareness about a disease that annually affects 130,000 Americans and is responsible for 56,000 deaths.

The National Colorectal Cancer Alliance, an awareness and fund-raising initiative spearheaded by NBC’s Katie Couric, also plans a number of activities nationwide to recognize the month. DuBois is among the scientific advisors to the alliance and his research benefits from funds raised.

The campaign will include colon cancer stories on NBC’s Today Show, advertising in national newspapers and magazines and placement of 7 million free educational brochures in more than 25,000 pharmacies nationwide. Of those stores, 14,000 will help raise funds asking customers at the cash register if they would like to donate $1 to colon cancer research. Those funds will support research by the alliance’s scientific advisors, including DuBois.

For more information about either event, please call Vanderbilt-Ingram’s Office of Communication and Outreach at 936-5855 or visit