April 26, 2012 | by City of Hope Staff
It can take a little creativity and education to get some people to go through a colonoscopy for the first time, but it’s worth it: When colorectal cancer is caught early, doctors can treat it fairly easily and survival rates are high.
City of Hope and its community partners are trying to spread the message about early cancer detection and colorectal health through an exercise craze that’s swept the country: Zumba.
Zumba’s Latin music booms and pulses with an infectious groove, getting dancers to jump and clap. Lines of Zumba fanatics routinely go out the door at exercise studios before classes start. That attraction recently drew participants to a series of Zumba classes in Duarte, Calif., — part of a health education effort by City of Hope’s Center of Community Alliance for Research & Education, or CCARE, and Set for Life, a community-based nonprofit focused on wellness. The groups plan to offer more classes in the future.
The class encourages health through fitness and provides potentially lifesaving health information for San Gabriel Valley residents age 50 or older. People attending an educational workshop about colorectal cancer can join the Zumba class for free.
The effort raises awareness about the importance of colorectal cancer prevention through healthy lifestyle changes and early detection. Just in time for Minority Cancer Awareness Month in April, the recent events aimed to reach Latino and African-American community members in particular. Latinos in the U.S. are less likely than people of any other ethnic group to get screened regularly for colorectal cancer. Too few African-Americans get screenings, too. Colorectal cancer tends to be more advanced when it’s diagnosed in these groups.
Recent sessions also introduced City of Hope experts to community members and featured a talk by City of Hope colorectal surgeon Julian Sanchez, M.D.
If you’re interested in Zumba, are age 50 or older or take care of someone 50 or older, and you live in the Los Angeles area, check City of Hope’s calendar or Set for Life, or call 626-644-7672 for any upcoming events.