This week, ACG shared Katie Couric’s unanticipated journey as a cancer advocate with Congress. Ms. Couric’s work is the subject of a personal essay published in the American College of Gastroenterology’s “American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG).” An Unexpected Turn: My Life as a Cancer Advocate
Ms. Couric shares the experience of losing her husband, the lawyer and TV commentator Jay Monahan, at age 42 to colorectal cancer in 1998. Ms. Couric’s televised colonoscopy in 2000 inspired many Americans to get screened for colorectal cancer. A study published in Archives of Internal Medicine by Dr. Peter Cram and colleagues documented the dramatic increase in the number of colonoscopies performed in the months following the broadcast, the so-called “Couric Effect.”
Throughout the month of March, ACG has joined patient advocates on Capitol Hill, highlighting the public health success story of colonoscopies and the importance in increasing screening utilizations rates. It is also important for Congress and the media to hear this from celebrities who have had the unfortunate experience of having lost a loved one to this largely preventable disease.
Whitfield L. Knapple, MD, FACG
ACG National Affairs Committee, Chair