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Dr. Albert’s Motto for Raising CRC Awareness: Be a Disruptor to Reach the “Non-Patient”

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Dr. Andrew Albert MD, MPH, a gastroenterologist who practices in Chicago, Illinois, first became associated with the Colon Cancer Foundation in 2017 when he started his own campaign to educate the community about colon cancer. Dr. Albert tragically lost a patient to colon cancer—someone who had the means to receive a colonoscopy but did not until she came in with a bowel obstruction and subsequently passed away. Following that event, he biked around Chicago with a sign taped on his back that said, “I just lost a patient to colon cancer. Get your colonoscopy!” His story made it on the news, and he was also able to share it through the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable. While he himself is passionate about raising awareness about this disease, he was blown away by the passion shared by the Colon Cancer Foundation team.

Dr. Albert truly believes in the importance of the National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month because it provides a platform for individuals to rally on so they can get the word out and ensure that others are not impacted. “The month of March is a time to implement change, increase awareness, and provide people with an opportunity to share their story,” Dr. Albert said, adding that his hospital is planning an event in late March to involve patients, the community, and the greater city of Chicago to come out, get tested, and walk through an inflatable colon. 

Join Dr. Albert and the CCF Team to raise awareness.  Start your own fundraiser or join a fundraising team.

Dr. Albert’s strategy to increase awareness around colorectal cancer is to share information about the disease, how it can be prevented, and the statistics on how many are affected by it. His “secret sauce” is based on strategy: educating people in their workplace or in a place where they are comfortable.

“I am a big proponent of going out into the community instead of waiting for folks to come to me,” Dr. Albert said, because patients who come into his office already know they need to get tested or likely have symptoms.

 Working with the Latino community in Chicago has been a part of Dr. Albert’s focus. He secured a $20,000 grant to distribute free colon cancer screening kits in that community. His strategy was to find someone who could appeal to the community—someone who is not only professional but also authentic so they can gain the community’s trust.

 Although his job requires him to conduct a lot of colonoscopies, Dr. Albert realizes that his clinical work does not solve the problem of preventing colorectal cancer—he wants to reach people before they have symptoms of colorectal cancer. Through his extensive work, Dr. Albert has solidified his message: “We all need to think of creative ways to engage non-patients in their care to prevent colon cancer.” He applauds disruptors who will break the tradition of routine clinical work and go out into the community. Dr. Albert longs to engage people who have not contacted him and impact people outside of his usual scope. For that, he is immensely grateful for the Colon Cancer Foundation in allowing him to have the microphone and reach these greater communities.

Join Dr. Albert and the CCF Team to raise awareness.  Start your own fundraiser or join a fundraising team.

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@doctordaba Please get your colonoscopy! Tired of sad news. #fypシ #colonoscopy #tired #prevention #foryoupage #health #coloncancer ♬ Night Trouble – Petit Biscuit