DOH News Release: DOH launches “Get Screened Hawai‘i” campaign to encourage colon cancer screening for adults age 45-75

Posted on Mar 23, 2022 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – The Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH) recently launched a new public service announcement campaign to encourage adults 45-75 years old to get screened for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, is the second leading cancer killer in Hawai‘i. According to the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center’s Hawai‘i Tumor Registry, approximately 700 men and women are diagnosed and 225 people die from colorectal cancer each year.

Now is the time to catch up on cancer screenings. Postponing screening visits may delay life-saving treatment,” said Deputy Director of Health Resources Danette Wong Tomiyasu. “We are encouraging everyone to call their healthcare provider to schedule their overdue screenings. Our healthcare facilities have put protocols in place to ensure patients can access these services safely during the pandemic.”

“As a colon cancer survivor, I strongly urge people to get screened for colon cancer,” said cancer survivor and advocate, George Stewart. “I’m here today because screening found my cancer early enough that treatment was effective.”

Colon cancer screening tests can also find pre-cancerous polyps that can be removed before they turn into cancer. While routinely recommended for everyone aged 45-75, those older than 75 may still choose to be screened and should talk to a healthcare provider for individualized guidance.

“There are several options for colon cancer screening such as stool tests, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and computed tomography (CT) colonography,” advises Dr. Ankur Jain, Governor for Hawaii, American College of Gastroenterology and Co-Vice-Chair of the Hawaii Comprehensive Cancer Coalition. “When I meet with patients, I discuss the most appropriate test for their situation. The best colon cancer screening is the one that gets done.”

The Get Screened Hawai‘i campaign launched in March, during Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. The campaign is slated to run through June and includes radio, digital, social media, print, and mall advertisements.

The public is encouraged to visit the campaign website, GetScreened.hawaii.gov, to learn more about colon cancer, screening recommendations, and options for screening tests.

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Media Contact:

Gail Ogawa

Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 808-586-4526