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Driving toward 80 Percent Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer is perhaps the best example of a disease that is in what I've called The Golden Triangle of Health Care Social Media. Those diseases meet three criteria:

  1. They're deadly.
  2. They're highly treatable or even preventable.
  3. Medically recommended screening or prevention techniques are underutilized.

Colorectal Cancer fits all three:

  1. It's the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.
  2. It's preventable by removing precancerous polyps, and curable if caught early.
  3. About a third of eligible patients are not being screened.

Golden Triangle diseases are those in which social media can have the greatest impact. While research is important, the biggest need is to implement tests and treatments we already have available.

That's why we're excited to again collaborate with Fight Colorectal Cancer and other members of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) in Colorectal Cancer Screening Coast to Coast: Driving Toward 80%.

We'll be streaming live on our Mayo Clinic Facebook page from "The Blue Carpet" as celebrities and experts come in for the kickoff event in Los Angeles at 1 p.m. PST/4 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 8. We'll also be carrying the 1:30 p.m. PST educational program featuring Luke Perry, Craig Campbell, Chiquibaby and others. I hope you'll plan to join us virtually and share the program on your personal and organization social channels.

In addition to the L.A. #80by2018 event, tomorrow we're launching an ongoing social media campaign that we hope can have sustained impact throughout the month.

Colorectal Cancer Expert Q&A Series

We've produced a series of short (typically :30) videos that feature experts from our Mayo Clinic sites in Minnesota, Arizona, and Florida answer common and important questions about colorectal cancer.

Each day during March we will release a new video in the series on our major Mayo Clinic social accounts. Each video will link to a special landing tab we've created on our Mayo Clinic Connect community, where the YouTube versions of all of the videos will be available.

Once users click a link within one of the videos, we want them to be able to see all of them if they're interested, instead of having to wait for the campaign's completion.

Here's an introductory video from Dr. Paul Limburg, the Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist who conceived the initiative, describing the program:

How You Can Join the #80by2018 Campaign

  1. Create your own posts on your personal or organizational social media accounts with screening-promotion messages. Be sure to include the #80by2018 hashtag.
  2. Participate in the March 8 online kickoff Facebook live events.
  3. Share others' #80by2018 posts on your social accounts.
  4. Watch Mayo Clinic's accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and share the daily Colorectal Cancer Expert Q&A video posts with your networks.

Heres some pure speculation:

From a network perspective I always wonder about how important the effect of a personal relationship is on leveraging a digital relationship.

(For example, since I know you personally, I have already retweeted one of your tweets with this hashtag).

Anyway, in theory, I would bet that the head of GI at the Mayo Clinic personally knows, and has the email of head of the The American Gastroenterological Association, who could then ask his organization's Social Media folks to keep an eye out for #80by2018 hashtag and follow and retweet aggressively.

By itself , this wouldn’t be much, but then repeat this personal/email chain with the head of your Family Practice Department and the AAFP, your Colorectal Surgery Department and their professional organizations, your Oncology Department, your Anesthesia department, …

The idea is to have predefine personal networks before hand and to leverage these networks in parallel with your already extensive social media networks.


Really good thoughts. Especially with declining organic reach, having other ways to directly reach out to colleagues and invite them to purposefully engage is an important idea.

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