FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, July 22, 2021
MUSIC ICON PATTI LABELLE REMINDS ADULTS: IT’S TIME TO GET SCREENED FOR CANCER
Grammy Award-Winner Leads Campaign Encouraging People to Schedule Medical Appointments for Early Cancer Detection
Two-time Grammy award winner and “Godmother of Soul” Patti LaBelle is encouraging adults not to delay potentially lifesaving cancer screenings. She’s partnering with two national non-profit organizations—The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) and CancerCare—to spread the word that after millions of people delayed care due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s time to get screened.
LaBelle is appearing in television, digital and radio public service announcements (PSAs) as part of “Time to Screen”— a nationwide effort reminding adults, especially those over the age of 40, to schedule doctor recommended regular screenings for six common cancers: breast, colorectal, cervical, prostate, lung and skin. PSAs with LaBelle will run through October 2021.
“I’ve learned timing is everything in life and right now, it’s time to take control of your health,” said LaBelle. “I know what it’s like to lose loved ones far too early to cancer. Don’t wait until it’s too late. I tell everyone, ‘Honey, it’s time to get screened.’”
The “Time to Screen” campaign provides assistance and educational resources to consumers, including a toll-free hotline and website featuring information on the importance of screening and support for finding local screening locations. This multi-faceted public education and engagement campaign works with local oncology practices, other medical professionals, employers and health care purchasers to amplify the campaign’s message in communities across the nation.
“Getting more people screened for cancer means earlier detection and better quality of life for Americans,” said Kashyap Patel, MD, president of COA and a practicing medical oncologist in Rock Hill, South Carolina. “As a cancer advocate and trusted voice for millions across the nation, Patti LaBelle is instrumental in helping us connect adults to quality, affordable, accessible screening resources in their communities. Her message saves lives.”
The campaign aims to reverse a pandemic-induced trend of delayed cancer screenings. Research showed a considerable drop in cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment for older adults in 2020, including an 85 percent decline in breast cancer screenings and a 75 percent decline for colon cancer screenings. “Time to Screen” urges adults needing to schedule a cancer screening, or wondering if they should be screened, to visit www.TimeToScreen.org or call 1-855-53-SCREEN (1-855-537-2733) for assistance.
“Staying current on recommended screenings is essential to maintaining your health,” said Patricia J. Goldsmith, chief executive officer of CancerCare. “The more people who hear this message and heed our call to action, the more support we can provide to ensure timely access to and information about vital screenings.”
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States overall, but the leading cause of death for Hispanic and Latino adults. Black adults have higher death rates than all other racial/ethnic groups for many cancer types. Social determinants of health including incomes, health literacy and physical access to care contribute to these disparities.
“Time to Screen” is a partnership between COA, a national non-profit advocacy group dedicated solely to independent oncology practices and the patients they serve, and CancerCare, a national non-profit that provides free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. All screening recommendations are based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines.
People can visit www.TimeToScreen.org or call toll-free 1-855-53-SCREEN (1-855-537-2733) to learn more about cancer screenings and find a convenient location.
About the Community Oncology Alliance
COA is a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for community oncology practices and, most importantly, the patients they serve. COA is the only organization dedicated solely to community oncology where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. The mission of COA is to ensure that cancer patients receive quality, affordable, and accessible cancer care in their own communities. More than 1.5 million people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year and deaths from the disease have been steadily declining due to earlier detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Learn more at www.CommunityOncology.org. Follow COA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/oncologyCOA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CommunityOncologyAlliance.
Founded in 1944, CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include case management, counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by master’s-prepared oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts. To learn more, visit www.cancercare.org or call 800-813-HOPE (4673).