Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx has joined Stand Up To Cancer for a public service campaign launched Wednesday to raise awareness about colorectal cancer screenings, early detection and prevention, with a focus on reaching underrepresented communities.
Stand Up To Cancer and Exact Sciences, a provider of cancer screening and diagnostic tests, timed the release of a public service announcement starring Foxx to coincide with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The PSA, in both English and Spanish, will be placed across print, broadcast, radio and digital outlets.
“Cancer affects everyone. I’ve lost good friends — young friends — to this deadly disease,” Foxx said.
“We need to make sure that we are taking care of our bodies, paying attention to certain things, that you didn’t necessarily think about when you were younger,” the actor said. “Medical issues come up and you may not know what’s at your disposal, so that is why I am proud to shine a light on the importance of getting screened for colon cancer early and bring awareness to the options that are available with this PSA campaign.”
In 2020, nearly 148,000 Americans received a new diagnosis of colon or rectal cancer, according to Stand Up To Cancer, which notes that Black people have the highest colorectal cancer rates of any ethnic group in the United States. They are 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and 40% more likely to die from it than any other population. And research has shown that colorectal cancer screening rates are the lowest in Hispanic communities, with Black and Hispanic people typically being diagnosed at a later stage in the disease when it is more difficult to treat.
“We are so thankful to Jamie Foxx for lending his voice to this campaign. We have seen a sharp drop in screenings as a result of COVID-19, and this compounds an already significant screening disparity in minority communities,” said Sung Poblete, CEO of Stand Up To Cancer.
“With routine screening, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers,” Poblete said. “It’s beatable in 90% of cases when detected early, and lives can be saved with just one simple step. People must get screened!”
Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences, said: “Providing personalized outreach and making it easier to get people screened is vital, especially in minority communities.”
The PSA campaign is part of a larger initiative between SU2C and Exact Sciences, which provided a $10 million grant to enable the nonprofit to create a colorectal cancer “Dream Team” of researchers that will identify communities near anchor institutions serving medically underserved communities.
The team will help pinpoint unique local needs of those areas and will provide free colorectal cancer testing in the identified zones and study samples collected via approved tests for colorectal cancer, including colonoscopy, CT colonography, flexible sigmoidoscopy and at-home stool tests that analyze fecal DNA and/or blood. The research will aim to develop better approaches to colorectal cancer interception, according to SU2C.
To learn more about screening options, visit StandUpToCancer.org/ColonCancer.