Section: Monmouth Medical Center News

Monmouth Medical Center Joins Colon Cancer Alliance for Annual Fund-Raising Undy Run/Walk


Family-friendly Event Encourages Participants to Run Brave and Knock Out Colon Cancer

The Monmouth Medical Center team supporting the Undy 500 Run/Walk in some of their favorite apparel.

A team from Monmouth Medical Center recently joined hundreds of Jersey Shore residents who bravely ran through the city streets of Long Branch wearing boxers and briefs during the family-friendly Undy Run/Walk.

Hosted by the Colon Cancer Alliance, this lighthearted event encouraged participants to wear silly boxers, briefs or costumes in support of knocking colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. Money raised through this annual event benefits Monmouth Medical Center, as well as supports national prevention, research and patient support initiatives of the Colon Cancer Alliance.

Created to raise money and awareness for colon cancer, the Undy Run/Walk isn’t the everyday 5K. Instead of typical running gear, attendees sport a variety of eye-catching attire, including themed underwear or boxers, frilly tutus, super hero capes, or head-to-toe costumes.

While it’s one of the most preventable cancers, colon cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2014, nearly 140,000 Americans were diagnosed with colon cancer, and more than 50,000 died from the disease. In New Jersey alone, there have been 4,280 diagnoses and 1,510 colon cancer deaths in the past year.

Throughout the year the Colon Cancer Alliance hosts more than 19 Undy Run/Walks in major cities throughout the United States. Nationwide, the events raise more than $2 million annually.

“Colon cancer is not always an easy topic to discuss, and the Undy Run/Walk gives us a lighthearted forum to bring awareness to a serious disease,” says Adina Frazier, Colon Cancer Alliance’s Special Events Director. “The more we can raise awareness, encourage screening, and promote prevention, the closer we get to knocking colon cancer out the top three cancer killers.”

A supportive community, at least 80 percent of those involved in the Undy Run/Walk has some tie to colon cancer. The event is an opportunity to encourage those currently battling the disease, remember those lost too soon, and celebrate those who have completed colon cancer treatment.

Michael Arvanitis, M.D., Chief of Colorectal Surgery at Monmouth Medical Center addressing the crowd.

The Leon Hess Cancer Center at Monmouth Medical Center established a Center of Excellence in Gastrointestinal Cancer Care under the medical direction of Dr. Arvanitis that has implemented initiatives under guidelines established by the American Cancer Society for GI cancer screening, education and surveillance. A GI Multidisciplinary Cancer Conference provides a forum for physicians and other health care professionals from all disciplines to evaluate and discuss patient cases and collectively determine proper courses of treatment.

Additionally, a Familial Colorectal Cancer Registry Program offers a multispecialty team approach to the assessment of family risk, genetic counseling and testing, and the treatment of polyps and cancer. The registry’s main role is to educate high-risk patients with a family history of colorectal cancer about the disease, placing an emphasis on the importance of lifelong surveillance through appropriate testing. And a High Risk Colon Cancer Assessment Clinic offers high-risk colorectal patients “one-stop” assessment services. During an afternoon appointment at one convenient location, patients meet with the registry’s coordinator to document a medical history and to prepare family pedigrees. They also undergo appropriate testing and meet with genetic counselors and geneticists. Anyone with an inherited colorectal cancer syndrome is considered to be at risk and can access the clinic’s services. For more information, call 732-923-6711.

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