Healthy Living: Tag2Nag campaign
"Tag2Nag” is a new campaign from the American Cancer Society that’s designed to raise awareness about the importance of getting screened for colon cancer. Casey Bortnick reports.
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She only logs on a few times a week, but Ann Savastano knows how powerful Facebook can be, especially if you're trying to find a new way to send an important message.
"As much as you try to catch people with a PSA or something in the paper, so many people just don't follow those things any longer," said Savastano.
It's called "Tag2Nag," a new campaign from the American Cancer Society that’s designed to raise awareness about the importance of getting screened for colon cancer.
"And it was very catchy to me. Most of the people on my Facebook are contemporaries from school and they need to do that," said Savastano.
Although more New Yorkers are getting screened for colon cancer than 10 years ago, a new report shows thousands are still missing the message. Some counties actually saw an increase in later stage colon cancer.
"And we're talking about a disease that impacts 150,000 people a year, and kills about 50,000. So that's not an insignificant number," said Dr. Joel McFarland, a gastroenterologist.
Dr. McFarland spends more and more time interacting with his patients online, from answering questions to scheduling appointments. Dr. McFarland says the medical field is starting to see the value of social media.
"People in marketing, people in office management are willing to entertain social media and electronic media as a whole to reach patients," said Dr. McFarland.
Colonoscopies are recommended for those fifty and older. Thousands forgo screening because they can’t pay for it. The American Cancer Society says that shouldn't be a barrier.
"If you're uninsured, we can help get you to the screening you need that ultimately can help save your life," said Matt Flanigan, regional Vice President of the American Cancer Society.
Ann knows firsthand how important these screenings are.
"They found some precancerous polyps and removed them," explained Savastano.
Three years ago, she allowed us to share her colonoscopy with our viewers. This time she's taking a different approach, sending a life saving message one click at a time.
To tag those you think may be in need of a colon cancer screening, just log onto the American Cancer Society's Facebook page. There, you'll find the nine images designed to get the message across.