Colonoscopies Save Lives!!
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September, 2020                                                               

The world seems to have gone topsy turvy in the last months. With the arrival of the Coronavirus, things came to a screeching halt, and we are still trying to creep slowly forward to find our new normals in the lives in which we find ourselves today. Unfortunately, the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation, like the rest of you,  has been impacted by Covid-19. Most of what we do is community outreach, education, and support. In a time when holding face to face events to communicate the importance of screenings is not possible, we have struggled to find other means of connecting. Along with everyone else, we have relied more on electronic communication and social media, and will continue to do so in the weeks and months to come. As always, our most important message is that Colonoscopies Save Lives! In today's world, that means it is more important than ever to make sure you are getting screened. If you are age 50 or older (45 for African Americans) and have not scheduled your colonoscopy, don't wait. Putting it off due to Covid-19 concerns increases the chances of developing colon cancer. Also, know your body! If you have a change in bowel habits, blood in your stool, or persistent abdominal discomfort, you need to speak with your doctor today - you  may need to schedule a colonoscopy even if you are under the recommended screening age. Putting it off could have devastating consequences.

Stay safe and stay well!

In good health,
Kayse Rigsby
Executive Director




Our Rumps Won't Run Until 2021

Due to continued concerns over Covid-19, the Rump Run has been postponed to Saturday, March 20th at Enterprise South Nature Park. WE CAN STILL MAKE THIS 10TH EVENT THE BEST ONE YET!! At the time of the original postponement this past March, we already had almost 400 people signed up for the event, including 24 teams - that's incredible! All of those registrations and donations have been transferred to the March, 2021 date. 
You can help by sticking with us! Continue recruiting team members, or forming teams. Every registration is another dollar raised toward increasing colon cancer awareness in Chattanooga, and reaching at risk populations with the life saving message that colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable! Please make plans to join us next March to raise awareness of colon cancer in and around Chattanooga! You can visit our website at for more information about the event.

Also - Stay Tuned for information about an online colon cancer awareness campaign, coming at the first of October!! #Ca$h4Colons
What Are My Screening Options During Covid-19?

Colon cancer is not only treatable and beatable, it is preventable. Polyps, small clumps of cells which sometimes develop on the lining of the colon or rectum, can and will develop into colon cancer if not detected and removed. There are several ways to find polyps:
  • Colonoscopy - the gold standard in detection, this is a procedure during which a long, flexible tube (colonoscope) is inserted into the rectum. A tiny video camera at the tip of the tube allows the doctor to view the inside of the entire colon. It is the most sensitive test for colorectal polyps and cancer. If polyps are found, your doctor may remove them immediately or take tissue samples (biopsies) for analysis. Recommended every 10 years.
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy - test in which a slender, lighted tube is inserted in your rectum to examine it and the last third of your colon (sigmoid). If a polyp is found, you'll need a colonoscopy to have it removed. Recommended every 5 years
  • CT Colonography - a minimally invasive test that uses a CT scan to view your colon. This virtual colonoscopy requires the same bowel preparation as a colonoscopy. If a polyp is found, you'll need a regular colonoscopy to have it removed. Recommended every 5 years.
  • Stool based tests - works by checking for the presence of blood in the stool or assessing your stool DNA. If your stool test is positive you will need a colonoscopy. Recommended every 3 years.  
Cologuard is a stool based test that looks for blood and DNA mutations in your stool that could indicate colon cancer. It is an option for people who are hesitant to schedule a screening procedure or who want to avoid the prep that comes along with a colonoscopy. 

Cologuard was approved by the FDA for use in 2014, and is available by prescription. However, it should be noted that both false negatives and positives are possibilities with Cologuard, and patients with a positive result should follow up with their doctor. 

Cologuard is NOT recommended for the following individuals:
  • Those experiencing symptoms of colon cancer, such as a change in bowel habits, bloody stool, and/or abdominal pain such as gas/bloating, etc.
  • Those with a personal history of colon cancer, polyps, or other related conditions, such as Crohn's Disease or IBS
  • Those with a family history of colon cancer
  • Those who have had a positive result from another colon cancer screening method in the past six months
Is Cologuard covered by insurance? The answer is maybe, if you are testing for general screening purposes only. You should check with your insurance company and ask if they cover Cologuard testing, and what documentation you  need from your medical provider to use it. Typically, Medicare covers Cologuard testing every three years if you are between ages 50-85, and you are not having symptoms your medical provider thinks may be related to colon cancer. 
Are you interested in participating in a GCCCF support group for colon cancer survivors? Click on this button and let us know.
Are you willing to share how colon cancer has impacted your life? Please contact us and let us know!

Online Support Options

If you are currently, or have ever gone through treatment for colon cancer, we want to offer you support options. While many physical support group opportunities are not available right now, we have compiled a list of online support we hope you find helpful.

Several national organizations have online topics and support groups pertinent to survivors, and issues they may be facing. There are also blogs written by other survivors that may be helpful. Check out these links:

There are also several closed, private groups on Facebook which can be joined, and they are listed below.
  • Colon Cancer Support Group
  • Colontown Communities - there are lots of these pages, each based on your search criteria. See the link for the Colontown Online Community above for more information
  • Colon Cancer Support Group - No1 Fights Alone has a podcast dealing specifically with fear of recurrence, which can be found here

Locally, Memorial Hospital has a webpage dedicated to cancer support. Click here and scroll down the page to find information on their monthly colon cancer support group, an empowerment video series for survivors, and a video created by their dieticians, specifically addressing diet and exercise.  
Do you qualify for a free, screening colonoscopy? Take this quiz at and find out!



The Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation (GCCCF) is a 501(c)3 organization, dedicated to conquering Colon Cancer through Awareness, Access and Advocacy

Colon Cancer Resources

Colorectal Cancer Alliance

American Cancer Society

Colontown Online Community (Facebook)

Fight Colorectal Cancer


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GCCCF Board of Directors

Chair - Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero, MD
President - Thomas Brien, MD
Vice-President - Marshall Horton, MD
Secretary - Kim Shank, RN
Treasurer - Jones Krogh

Directors at Large

Christie Burbank 
Tanner Goodrich
Michael Howard
Helen Pinkerton
Craig Sarine

Alison Sexter

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