Aurora, CO >> Young adults between the ages of 18 to 35 are being diagnosed with cancer in the later stages, 3 and 4, instead of the very early stages of 1 and 2, with devastating results. This trend has come to the attention of Catch it in Time, (CiiT), a cancer awareness communications 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Aurora. CiiT wants to raise the awareness of cancer and early detection to these young adults through a video challenge. The focal point of the challenge is to engage college students to produce videos that will connect and resonate with their peers. Early detection will lead to an increase in survival rates.
“At Catch it in Time, we strive to shine a light on the topics of screening and early detection. Getting college kids involved will, we hope, help inform a younger generation and help us find new and creative ways to get the message out,” said Keith Singer, Executive Director of Catch it in Time. “Our initial response from area schools has been extremely positive.”
Many of the late teens and early-20s adults still have the ‘I am invincible” attitude and that nothing bad can happen to them. This, along with a variety of factors including finances, attitude and access to affordable health care, has impacted the lower survival rates in young adults. Most often, they only see a doctor at an urgent care facility when something is in need of immediate attention.
Survival rates for cancer in young adults have not changed much in recent decades, unlike the improvements seen for many cancers in children and older adults.
• More than 60,000 people between the ages of 20 and 39 are diagnosed with cancer every year in the United States and numbers are on the rise.
• Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease among females in this age group, and is second only to heart disease among males. Cancer accounts for 10% of deaths in these young adults.
• Some of the most common types of cancer among this demographic include skin, breast, lymphoma, colorectal, thyroid, cervical and ovarian, testicular and non-smoking lung cancer.
• A new American Cancer Society study shows people born in 1990 and later have double the risk of colon cancer, and four times the risk of rectal cancer, than people in their parents’ generation did at the same age.
While this may seem bleak, the good news is that the majority of cancers today can be successfully treated if they are caught in time.
Family risk factors are another reason to have these young adults become more aware of their chances to be impacted by cancer; however, those who are at risk generally do not have the knowledge or awareness to catch cancer in time. Family medical secrets can kill so it is important to talk with other relatives about family health history.
The 2017 CiiT Video Challenge will allow all two and four year institutions, public and private, as well as technical and art schools to participate. Much of the millennial information comes via their smart phones so video was determined to be the best way to reach them.
“We are looking forward to having students from all across the state participate in the Challenge,” says Stephanie Short, CiiT Marketing Director. “It is wonderful opportunity for them to share their talents and support a terrific cause -- promoting cancer awareness.”
CiiT firmly believe that increasing awareness of cancer symptoms, screenings, and treatments can help save lives.
“This is such a great idea to get these young adults involved using skills they learn in the classroom,” said Kirk Basefsky, owner of Burst Communications. “This is such an innovative way to reach this complex audience.”
The CiiT Video Challenge official registration is now open and the challenge will culminate with an awards program in the first quarter of 2018.
“What better way to reach this demographic than by their peers -- students on campuses throughout Colorado using their social networks and communication tools,” stated Amanda Seier, Amercian Cancer Society, Senior Director of Community Engagement.
CiiT has already begun outreach and partnerships on the challenge with the Colorado Film Commission, Burst Communication, the American Cancer Society, Expomasters, Emily Griffith Technical College and Metropolitan State University of Denver.
“We don’t want to put many constraints on the students for this challenge. We want to let their creativity shine through to effectively reach their peers,” added Singer. “No one else is doing this anywhere. We are tremendously excited to see what the students produce.”
More information on the video challenge can be found at catchitintime.org.