CENTER VALLEY, Pa. (May 16, 2023) – During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Olympus Corporation teamed up with early onset colon cancer patients and survivors to further their messages about the importance of screening and early detection, initiatives they keep going year-round.
Musician James Casey, who was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 38, joined Dr. Renee Williams, chair and co-founder of the Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists, in a conversation about his cancer diagnosis and living with Stage IV cancer at the Olympus Dress in Blue Day in March.
During the event, Olympus premiered Casey’s docu-short1 Music as Medicine, which shares his cancer journey amid making his solo album, The Kaua’i Project. “Life changed drastically, and when that happened, I realized that I had to put something out,” said Casey. “My timeframe has been truncated… [but] if I’ve got today, then that’s enough. I can do something with this time.”
Casey implored others to avoid suffering an advanced cancer diagnosis by being their own advocate. He also emphasized that Black Americans are at greater risk and more likely to die of the disease.2 “Go get screened, go get checked, please. And get checked early and tell your family so you don’t have to deal with this. I promise you don’t want to deal with this – it’s the worst.”
Dr. Renee Williams, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine at NYU Langone and chair and co-founder of the Association of Black Gastroenterologists and Hepatologists, and musician James Casey
Participants in the Olympus Dress in Blue Day event held at the Olympus Corporation of the Americas in Center Valley, Pa., on March 4, 2023, from left: Krista Ortwein, Tanisha Heard, James Casey, Ayla Cobb, Justin Schnable, Dr. Renee Williams, Kurt Cannon, and Julien Sauvagnargues
Olympus also partnered with colon cancer survivor and self-professed “colonoscopy enthusiast” Brooks Bell to raise awareness of colon cancer through television and magazine interviews. After her diagnosis with colon cancer at age 38, Bell decided she wanted to “rebrand colon cancer” to destigmatize the disease to make sure people are aware of the disease and screening recommendations. She partnered with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance to establish Lead From Behind, an initiative through which Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney famously broadcast their first screening colonoscopies after having turned 45, which is the recommended age for colon cancer screening for those at average risk of developing the disease.3 Bell’s story was featured in Parade magazine and on WRAL News during March.
Olympus is grateful to the colon cancer patients and survivors like Casey and Bell who share their stories to further awareness about the importance of cancer screening and early detection. Visit colonoscopytoday.com to learn more about colon cancer screening.
At Olympus, we are committed to Our Purpose of making people’s lives healthier, safer and more fulfilling. As a global medical technology company, we partner with healthcare professionals to provide best-in-class solutions and services for early detection, diagnosis and minimally invasive treatment, aiming to improve patient outcomes by elevating the standard of care in targeted disease states.
For more than 100 years, Olympus has pursued a goal of contributing to society by producing products designed with the purpose of delivering optimal outcomes for its customers around the world.
For more information, visit medical.olympusamerica.com.
1 The creation of this video was sponsored by Olympus Corporation of the Americas. The positions and statements are based on Mr. Casey's experiences, thoughts and opinions. Please talk to your doctor regarding this important topic.
2 American Cancer Society, "Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2020-2022."
3 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, “Final Recommendation Statement, Colorectal Cancer: Screening.” May 2021