Registration for the 2021 Get Your Rear in Gear - Green Bay run/walk is now open. This year’s event will take place virtually Monday, August 2 – Saturday, August 7.
The virtual 5K run/walk is part of a national effort organized by the Colon Cancer Coalition which seeks to raises awareness about colon cancer, the importance of early detection and getting screened.
“Colon cancer is a very common disease – it is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the United States and the third leading cause of cancer death for both men and women,” says Dr. Erik Johnson, colorectal surgeon with Aurora BayCare General & Vascular Surgery. “It is a very preventable cancer… so there are ways to prevent this type of cancer and that’s why it’s important to get the word out and talk about these things that might be somewhat uncomfortable conversations sometimes.”
Dr. Johnson participated in a Facebook Live discussion during Colon Cancer Awareness month where he discussed some of the warning signs of colon cancer, treatment options and screening recommendations for individuals in the community.
You can watch the full interview with Dr. Johnson below.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 out of every 23 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
The society estimates 104,270 new cases of colon cancer and 45,230 new cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2021. While the rate of people being diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer each year has dropped overall since the mid-1980s, there’s more work to be done, says Dr. Johnson.
According to Johnson, only two thirds of Americans are up to date with recommended colon cancer screening tests, but early detection can mean the difference between life or death when it relates to colon cancer.
“We are trying to find colon cancer at a very early stage, or even better, finding the pre-cancer growths known as polyps. If we find a polyp, it can be removed to prevent cancer from forming," says Johnson.
The American Cancer Society recently changed the recommended age of screenings from 50 to 45 due to the recent trend of colorectal cancer in younger patients.
“The attention we hope this event draws will provide us an opportunity to educate the public about colon cancer and the importance of age-appropriate screenings and early detection,” Johnson says. “Colon cancer can be successfully treated when it is caught early. Diagnosing it at later stages often means a patient faces a more challenging fight.”
Get Your Rear in Gear – Green Bay is designed to raise awareness about colon cancer, the importance of early detection and age appropriate screenings but it also seeks to raise funds for colon cancer resources in the community.
Those interested may register now at www.coloncancercoalition.org/greenbay for just $20. Colon cancer survivors can register for free.
Participants may run or walk anywhere, anytime between Monday, August 2 and Saturday, August 7, 2021.