The five-year survival rate of colon cancer when detected in the early stages is around 90 percent, meaning most cases of colon cancer can be cured, provided patients get their colonoscopy screening when they should. The high success of early detection makes colon cancer awareness so important—the more patients hear about colon cancer screening and diagnosis, the more likely they are to schedule their colonoscopy. Each year, GI Associates sponsors the Guts and Butts 5K Run and Walk, which not only raises awareness but also raises funds for a program that ensures people who need colon cancer screenings receive them. Read on to learn more about the Guts and Butts turnout and why early detection is so important.
What Is Guts and Butts?
The Guts and Butts 5K Run and Walk is not just your average 5K. While colon cancer is a serious topic, GI Associates and their partners aim to make the race more fun with every participant wearing—and running with—a foam butt, which runners can decorate. The proceeds from the 2019 Guts and Butts 5K go to the 70x2020 initiative, which aims to provide colon cancer screenings to 70 percent of Mississippians that need them by the year 2020.
The 2019 Guts and Butts Race
The 2019 5k was held on April 27, 2019, with a turnout of roughly 300 participants. The regular walk/run started at 4 pm, and the kids had their own “fun run” at 5:15 pm. Remember—it’s never too early to start colon cancer awareness!
Not only was turnout high, but it was also a beautiful day at a beautiful venue with no rain, and everyone had a great time. Not missing a beat, GI Associates is now trying to secure the date for the 2020 Guts and Butts race, so if you want to participate again next year or want to be a first-time participant, stay tuned to the news page and blog.
Why Is Early Detection So Important?
In recent decades, there have been many more colon cancer cases diagnosed in younger patients, so much so that the American Cancer Society decided to lower the colon cancer screening guidelines in 2018 from age 50 to age 45. The gold standard of colon cancer screening is colonoscopy, and colonoscopy is the only test that can fundamentally screen for and “cure” cancer all in one sitting.
To explain, colon cancer begins as polyps in the colon and often the rectum (thus, the term colorectal cancer). Unfortunately, these polyps become cancerous and then metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body, which is part of why colon cancer is so deadly once it reaches the later stages of the disease. When colon cancer is detected in early, in stage I or II, the doctor can not only see the polyps with the colonoscope but can remove them during the procedure. Talking about colon cancer can be tough. It’s a serious topic, but it needs to be talked about so patients get their proper screening. And what better way is there to bring attention to the disease than a race to benefit colon cancer screenings with the participants wearing foam butts? Many of the participants are colon cancer survivors as well, so it’s a wonderful way for them to share their recovery.
Don’t wait to put off colonoscopy if it’s time for one. Request an appointment at GI Associates today for your annual screening or for a consultation with one of our physicians. We offer three convenient locations as well as pediatric services.