Good day for a run

Published 11:28 pm Saturday, April 21, 2012

Runners and walkers in the second annual Bon Secours 5K for Colon Cancer and 1-Mile Fun Walk leave the starting line Saturday. Proceeds will be donated to the Bon Secours Foundation Cancer Care Fund to help provide care for colon cancer patients.

A healthy field of runners and walkers turned out at Harbour View Health Center in North Suffolk Saturday for the second annual Bon Secours 5K for Colon Cancer and 1-Mile Fun Walk.

After a foggy start to the day and the threat of rain, sunshine prevailed as 72 pre-registered runners and walkers and 32 walk-ups gathered at the starting line.

Before they headed off, Dr. Mark Lawson, of Bon Secours, spoke about how cancer rates in America are improving.

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“Over the last two decades there has been a 15- to 20-percent reduction in (the incidence of) cancer in this country,” he said.

Lung, breast, prostate and colon cancer are the top-three cancer killers, and the reduction in cancer is due to screening measures, he said.

“The procedure (to test for colon cancer) takes an average of 13 minutes to do, so make sure you spread the word to your friends,” he added.

Event participants ranged from the young to the less-young and came from all over Hampton Roads and beyond.

Many were part of family groups, including Dr. Anant Damle, of Bon Secours, and son Mihir Damle, who were joined by Mihir’s friend at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Neil Malik.

Portsmouth’s Ryan Carroll won the event, which was as everybody had expected, according to Bon Secours spokeswoman Lynne Zultanky.

No one else was within sight when Carroll cantered across the finish line in a time of 15 minutes 25 seconds, barely breaking a sweat.

Event proceeds will be donated to the Bon Secours Foundation Cancer Care Fund to help provide care for colon cancer patients, a statement from Bon Secours said.

According to information provided in the statement, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S.

One in 18 men and one in 20 women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and health experts recommend beginning regular screening at age 50 for adults at average risk.

Colorectal cancer carries no early warning signs or symptoms. Physical activity, maintaining a healthy weight, getting plenty of fruit and vegetables, going easy on red and processed meats and alcohol and not smoking are the best prevention measures.

In America, 22 million at-risk individuals are in need of colorectal cancer screening; colonoscopy is considered the best screening method.