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Olympus, a global leader in designing and delivering innovative solutions for medical and surgical procedures, among other core businesses, will provide national nonprofit Colorectal Cancer Alliance (Alliance) with funding to raise awareness of colorectal cancer screening across the United States and provide low- to no-cost screenings to 100 at-risk individuals in 2019.

To support the Alliance’s efforts to increase public awareness of life-saving colorectal cancer screenings, Olympus is also sponsoring the Alliance’s national Big Colon Tour. Screening is the critical first step to identify and treat colorectal cancer, which is 90 percent beatable if caught early.

The Alliance, which seeks to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime, advocates for screening by colonoscopy or one of the other approved methods. Unfortunately, a third of eligible adults skip screening. Olympus’ support will allow the Big Colon Tour to make 20 stops throughout the United States in 2019.

To help those facing a financial barrier to getting screened, Olympus is providing funding for 100 at-risk individuals to receive colonoscopies through the Alliance’s Blue Hope Prevention Awards program as a way to celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary and improve access to colonoscopies.

“Anyone seeking a cancer screening should be able to get one,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Alliance. “This generous funding opens up an avenue to life-saving screenings that Americans need, and it will save lives.”  

Colonoscopy is a minimally invasive medical procedure that can identify precancerous polyps and cancer in the large intestine. Colonoscopies give doctors a chance to spot precancerous polyps that can be removed before becoming malignant. Funds provided by Olympus will support colonoscopy procedures for individuals who applied for one through the Alliance’s financial assistance website.

“As we celebrate the 100th year anniversary of Olympus, we are proud to continue our partnership with the Alliance in support of colorectal cancer screening awareness and outreach and to provide funding for colonoscopies to people who otherwise could not afford it,” said Kurt Heine, Group Vice President for Endoscopy, Olympus America Inc. “More than 15 million colonoscopies are performed in the U.S. annually, but still we know many more need to be performed to meet the national targets for CRC screening rates.”

Stops on the Alliance’s Big Colon Tour include:

March 23 - St. Louis  

March 31 - Washington, D.C.

April 6 - Denver, Colorado

May 17 - San Diego, California

June 15 - Portland, Oregon

June 22 - Denver, Colorado

July 20 - Buffalo, New York

August 10 - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

August 11 - Indianapolis, Indiana

September 7 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

September 28 - Cleveland, Ohio

November 9 - Arlington, Texas

An estimated 145,600 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, and 51,020 will die. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. and the third most common cancer impacting men and women, with about 90 percent of new cases occurring in individuals 50 and older.

For most adults, the American Cancer Society recommends that screenings start at age 45. Individual risk factors, such as ethnicity, lifestyle, and family history, may require earlier screening. A doctor can provide more information about how and when screening should begin.

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