February 23, 2012

Dress in Blue Day to raise awareness of colon cancer

Dress in Blue Day to raise awareness of colon cancer

Everyone is encouraged to wear something blue to spark conversations about the importance of early screening for colon cancer during Dress in Blue Day on Friday, March 2.

Dress in Blue Day was launched in 2009 by the Colon Cancer Alliance to raise awareness about colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Approximately 150,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year and more than 51,000 die from the disease.

During Dress in Blue Day, “Elvis” will be in the building. Elvis, who will appear at lunchtime between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in VUMC’s Courtyard Café, is actually a local entertainer who will don a jumpsuit reminiscent of the lavish outfits that were a trademark of the King of Rock and Roll during his later years.

What does Elvis have to do with colon cancer?

“Anyone who is old enough to remember Elvis is also the right age to start thinking about colon cancer screening,” said Sheila Bates, community outreach manager for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center’s Office of Patient and Community Education. 

Screening with a test like a colonoscopy is the best way to prevent colorectal cancer. Everyone is advised to start screening beginning at age 50, and individuals who have persistent colon problems or a family history of the disease may need to start screening at an earlier age.

The Vanderbilt Hereditary Colorectal Cancer Registry provides genetic counseling and testing for those who may have a hereditary risk for colorectal cancer.

For more information contact Duveen.sturgeon@vanderbilt.edu or call 322-1590.