All cancers are horrible and most people are afraid to be tested for them. This is especially true for colon cancer. Actress Meryl Streep is hoping to chase these fears away by starring in a new nationwide Public Service Announcement (PSA) encouraging the public to screen for colorectal cancer.
Since March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, it's the perfect time to premiere the PSA on the Katie Couric Show on March 13. Katie's husband died from the disease at the age of 42. On the PSA Streep asks the public to take the test for this second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. in men and women.
"Over the years I have played some characters you could call controlling, but the truth is, there's so much in life we can't control," she says. "But here's something we can: colorectal cancer."
According to the Huffington Post other celebrities have spoken up for the "Screen for Life" campaign like Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. The campaign is a joint effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.
The National Cancer institute reports approximately 102,480 new cases of colorectal cancer and 40,340 new cases of rectal cancer are expected to develop this year. Nearly 51,000 people are estimated to die.
There are a few ways to screen for colorectal cancer: a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or fecal occult blood testing. It is encouraged to start screening at age 50 until age 75.
These screenings are not painful and being a little shy should never stop anyone from making sure they don't have this cancer. Having colon cancer is much worse than being embarrassed for a few minutes.
Here's a clip from Meryl Streep's PSA. Please watch it and think about getting screened.