I’m the patient.
I’m 52 years old, and I had my last colonoscopy when I was 45 as part of the process that led to me eventually being diagnosed with celiac disease. I didn’t get screened again at age 50, which is when it’s recommended for those of us at average risk, but now it’s time.
Mayo Clinic has worked with the national advocacy organization Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) for the last three years to promote colorectal cancer awareness and screening. Last year we produced this video for “Stronger Than That,” the anthem by Fight CRC spokesman Craig Campbell:
As we discussed what we might do together this year to promote screening, we came upon the idea of broadcasting a colonoscopy on Periscope. Television anchors like CBS’ Harry Smith have had colonoscopies during their morning news programs, but broadcasting on a social networking site would be something new.
“Mayo does scores of colonoscopies every day,” I said. “I’m sure we can find one of those patients who would be willing to participate.”
We no doubt could have done that. But as I reflected during our phone conference, I decided to be the patient volunteer. I needed screening, and if I wasn’t willing to participate in the broadcast myself I didn’t have any business asking others.
So that’s how the #ScopeScope was born.
We hope this will both demystify the colonoscopy process and also encourage those of my vintage who haven’t yet been screened to get it done. I’ll be tweeting and ‘scoping on my personal accounts during the time leading up to the procedure, including my check-up on Monday and the dreaded colon prep.
Here’s how you can help:
- Share the link to this post (or this one on our Mayo Clinic Connect site) on your social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Follow the #ScopeScope hashtag on Twitter, and retweet as you’re able over the next few days.
- Follow the Mayo Clinic Periscope channel so you’ll get a notification when the broadcast starts on Tuesday, and then share the live feed.
After the #ScopeScope kicks off Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we’ll have a second phase of the campaign to encourage those who have been screened to challenge their friends to do likewise.
We hope you’ll support this project, and welcome your ideas to maximize its impact. Please share them in the comments.