Today@Sam Article

SHSU To 'Go Blue' For Colon Cancer Awareness

Feb. 26, 2015
SHSU Media Contact: Christopher Young

group photo of participants wearing blue shirts
For the past six years, SHSU has dedicated a day to wearing blue in recognition and support of colon cancer awareness. This year's event will be on March 4, when survivor Vicki Barrilleaux will discuss the prevalence of the disease with students in the LSC Theater. —Photos from the Facebook page “SHSU Goes Blue for Ms. Vicki

Just as the color pink has become associated with the pink ribbons you see during the month of October to raise awareness for breast cancer, “SHSU goes Blue” aims to make the color blue as synonymous with colon cancer.

In recognition of the 7th National Dress in Blue Day, Sam Houston State University will “go blue” to raise awareness of the issue on campus on Wednesday (March 4).

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates 136,830 people were diagnosed with some form of colon cancer in 2014 and, 50,000 will likely die from the disease.

Vicki Barrilleaux
Vicki Barrilleaux

Sam Houston State University admissions analyst Vicki Barrilleaux will lead the “SHSU Goes Blue” event, discussing the prevalence of the disease at 11 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.

Research shows that this cancer is becoming more common amongst younger generations, according to Barrilleaux, and the notion that students are “too young for cancer” is simply not true. This and other misconceptions about cancer will be the focus of her presentation.

Barrilleaux is a colon cancer survivor who works actively to help raise awareness with the Colon Cancer Alliance.

Colon cancer is typically considered an older person’s cancer, and while it is true that 90 percent of new cases are found in people over the age of 50, this does not mean younger people should not take colon cancer seriously. In fact, the number of incidents of people ages 20-49 being diagnosed have increased sharply over the past few years, according to Barrilleaux.

“Not only have the number of cases increased but these patients are more likely to present advanced forms of colon cancer, which makes treatment more difficult,” she said.

The event will conclude in the Lowman Student Center Mall Area, where those attending will take a group picture.

“We would like to make this year’s picture the largest yet,” said on-campus recruitment coordinator Chris Arcos. “Participants are encouraged to wear blue and use the hashtag #SHSUgoesBlue on social media.”

According to The Colon Cancer Alliance, early detection means higher chance for survival. Though survival rates continue to improve, the odds of living for five years when colon cancer is detected late are still only 13 percent.

Preventive measures are encouraged through regular screenings, which can prevent colon cancer by finding and removing polyps before they become cancerous.

To get involved with “SHSU goes Blue,” visit the “SHSU Goes Blue for Ms. Vicki” Facebook group and use #SHSUgoesBlue help raise awareness for colon cancer.

For more information, contact Arcos at CAA009@shsu.edu.

 

 

- END -

 

This page maintained by SHSU's Communications Office:

Associate Director, Communications: Emily Binetti
Telephone: 936.294.1836; Fax: 936.294.1834

Communications Manager: Wes Hamilton
Telephone: 936.294.1837; FAX: 936.294.1834

Communications Writer: Hannah Haney
Telephone: 936.294.2638; FAX: 936.294.1834

Thomason Building: Suite 102

Please send comments, corrections, news tips to Today@Sam.edu