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Busting Colorectal Cancer Myths | Episode 2: ‘Detecting the Silent Cancer’ Series

Flint, Michigan


21 March 2023


What drives the innovation behind detecting cancer? In Episode 2 of our “Detecting the Silent Cancer: Innovative Technologies for Colorectal Cancer Detection” series – presented by the Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative – Dr. Travelle Ellis, Director of Health Equity Education at Exact Sciences, shares how colon cancer can be preventable when we stay up to date on screenings.

Learn more about how you can help #ShiftCancer this #ColorectalCancerAwarenessMonth (and beyond) at http://www.shiftcancer.org/colon-cancer.

0:32 I, as an individual, had a family member die way too young from ovarian cancer, one of my favorite family members, and to this day it drives me. I went to school to be an engineer because I wanted to create cool things but then I went to medical school because I wanted to impact people’s lives and so my personal why is using innovation to advance the conversation.

1:03 One in 23 men and one in 26 women suffer from colorectal cancer. That’s not distant or far, when we think about my circle of influence, my circle of friends or we think about who’s in my mom’s choir group when we think about who are my co-workers, right? People around us are affected by polar cancer every day and there are huge impacts of not getting treated early.

1:38 Innovation is key to closing screening gaps because when we think about screening, one size doesn’t fit all, and Cologuard provides an option for individuals who want to get screened who may have fears about other screening practices or prefer a different modality.

2:02 Talk to your provider about it. If you don’t have a provider let’s get you connected to a provider or through Telehealth to someone that can get you a prescription for the test that might be right for you until we do this the rates are going to continue to grow until we solve our problems about cost sharing and follow-up colonoscopy, unfortunately, we’re not going to reach the Americans that need to be screened for colorectal cancer and our numbers are going to stay in a way that we are.

2:34 Colorectal cancer is one of four or five cancers that we can actually prevent and so it would be a travesty not to prevent something that we can actually cure.


National Minority Quality Forum is a research and educational organization dedicated to ensuring that high-risk racial and ethnic populations and communities receive optimal health care. This nonprofit, nonpartisan organization integrates data and expertise in support of initiatives to eliminate health disparities.

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