Team Georgetown Lends Voice to Major Colon Cancer Awareness Event

Posted in GUMC Stories

MARCH 25, 2014—In its largest showing ever, Georgetown University (new window) and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (new window) (MGUH) once again had a strong presence at the ninth annual Scope it Out 5K (new window), hosted by the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation (new window) on March 23 in downtown Washington.

Team Georgetown comprised more than 30 participants, including faculty, staff, patients and family members, who ran or walked the five-kilometer race to support Chris4Life’s mission.

Always held during National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the race is one of the largest annual colon cancer awareness events in the country. This year’s race, on a chilly, early spring morning, attracted more than 3,000 participants and raised nearly $300,000 to support colon cancer research and advocacy efforts.

Along with fielding a team, the Ruesch Center for the Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers (new window), part of Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (new window), was again a race sponsor.

Michael Sapienza, founder and executive Director of Chris4Life, thanked John Marshall, MD (new window), director of the Ruesch Center and chief of Division of Hematology/Oncology at MGUH, for being a “huge cheerleader” for Chris4Life and colon cancer awareness.  

As a featured speaker during the race program, Marshall told the audience: “We are running to celebrate our success.” 

Marshall discussed the decreased incidence of colorectal cancer and decline in mortality in the United States.  “We have miles to go, but we’re making progress. We’ve moved the bar on treatment through precision medicine, recognizing that every patient is different.” 

Stressing the importance of community support for colorectal cancer patients, Marshall cited an online resource from Chris4Life called Colontown, a virtual community for patients, survivors and caregivers dealing with a colon cancer diagnosis.

Through better screening and treatment, as well as forming community support networks, “we can change the world of colon cancer. We have a ways to go, but we can do it,” Marshall said.

By Craig Lustig
Ruesch Center Staff