You may know that all Get Your Rear in Gear events are planned by volunteers with a passion for colon cancer awareness and screening. What you may not know is that our volunteers run the gamut from survivors and caregivers to doctors and surgeons. Get Your Rear in Gear – Baton Rouge is planned by an incredible group of volunteers and lead by Dr. Kelly Finan, a colorectal surgeon at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge.
Dr. Finan was recently featured in Be Seen, Get Screened‘s Physician Spotlight Q&A, where she talked about why her patients may put off screening and why she brought Get Your Rear in Gear to Baton Rouge.
Thank you to the great folks at Be Seen, Get Screened. for featuring one of our local volunteers and her incredible efforts to increase colorectal cancer screening and decrease disease in her community.
You can read an excerpt below, or the entire article here.
More information or to be a part of Get Your Rear in Gear – Baton Rouge is here.
by Kate Brennan
Be Seen, Get Screened.: As a colon rectal surgeon, what are some common objections to colorectal cancer screening you hear from patients?
Dr. Finan: Patients frequently delay screening due to fear of the bowel preparation necessary to thoroughly clean the colon or pain from the procedure. The bowel preparation has become easier; most physicians now use a low volume, split dose bowel prep.
As a result, you can eat a light breakfast the day before the procedure and then drink liquids the remainder of the day. You then drink one small glass of the bowel prep that evening and a second the next morning before the procedure.
As for the colonoscopy, it is not a painful endeavor. You will get an IV in your arm and receive medications to safely sedate you so you are unaware of the procedure. Most patients wake up surprised it is all over.
BSGS: Besides screening, what do you recommend to patients to improve colorectal health?
Dr. Finan: The best thing you can do is live a healthy lifestyle! Consume a diet high in fruits and vegetables, milk, calcium and folate. Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Limit red and processed meats, saturated fats and alcohol consumption.
BSGS: How did you get involved with Get Your Rear in Gear?
Dr. Finan: I noted that we didn’t have any kind of large scale community awareness program in Baton Rouge dedicated to colorectal cancer awareness. I had previously participated in a Get Your Rear in Gear 5K race sponsored by the Colon Cancer Coalition in another state and thought it would be a great event to bring to our community.
Through this race we are able to educate the community about colorectal cancer, honor our colorectal cancer survivors and remember those we have lost to this disease. [Money] we raise through the race stay local to help with community education and advocacy as well as support colorectal cancer patients.
This year’s event is set for April 18 at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge.
BSGS: How big of a difference do awareness events like Get Your Rear in Gear make when it comes to improving patient awareness and compliance with colon cancer screening?
Dr. Finan: I think they make a big difference. The more we talk about colon cancer, the more people understand the disease, how to prevent it, when to get screened, and how to treat it. By breaking down these barriers, I hope we continue to lower the colorectal cancer rates in our community.
Since Get Your Rear in Gear was created, I have had a number of people tell me the information they received at the race, or from information funded by the race, encouraged them to get screened; so I know we are making a difference.
BSGS: What other types of events do you and other physicians at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center do to increase colon cancer awareness in the community you serve?
Dr. Finan: Ongoing cancer screening programs are offered throughout the community on a regular basis. Our Colorectal Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team, with which I am involved, is always working to raise awareness of colorectal cancer while striving to provide the best care possible to those with the disease.
Read the entire Q&A with Dr. Finan here.
The colorectal cancer screening rates in Louisiana sit around 61% ranking the state 39th in the country. We applaud the efforts of Dr. Finan and her race committee for all they do to change those statistics.