Longtime PGA TOUR professional and colon cancer survivor, Tom Lehman, is teaming up with Fight Colorectal Cancer (Fight CRC) to help raise awareness of the nation’s second-deadliest cancer. The one-year agreement, supported by Exact Sciences, will feature Lehman wearing the Fight CRC logo on his hat, numerous public appearances, and a public service announcement campaign highlighting the importance of early detection and the options available for colon cancer screening, including accurate, non-invasive options.
“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to partner with Exact Sciences in bringing on Tom Lehman as a Fight CRC spokesperson,” said Fight CRC president Anjee Davis. “With the increase in early-age onset colorectal cancer, having been diagnosed before the age of 50, Tom will be able to speak personally on the importance of having an open dialogue with your doctor. I hope by sharing Tom’s story, we will educate people about their screening options and remind them to not delay, but rather take that important step to be screened for this preventable cancer.”
Lehman was 36 years old and at the height of his career when he was diagnosed with Stage I colon cancer in 1995. He was playing in the Masters Tournament when he started experiencing symptoms. Because the cancer was caught early, Lehman did not require chemotherapy or radiation and was back on the golf course within weeks. He shared his experience with colon cancer publicly for the first time in February 2018 at the Cologuard Classic, a PGA TOUR Champions tournament held annually in Tucson, Arizona.
“At the time, I didn’t realize just how lucky I was to catch my colon cancer in Stage I, when it was most treatable,” said Lehman. “Now, together with Fight CRC and Exact Sciences, I realize how important it is to tell my story and make more people aware of a disease that isn’t talked about enough. By emphasizing the importance of early detection through a range of colon cancer screening options, we can make a difference in our shared goal of eradicating this disease.”
Lehman has been one of the leading names in golf for more than two decades. The former top-ranked player in the world has 36 career professional victories, including 5 PGA TOUR wins and 97 top-ten finishes. He won the 1996 British Open and served as captain of the United States Ryder Cup team in 2006. He has won Player of the Year honors on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, and Web.com Tour, the only player ever to receive that honor on all three PGA Tours. You can also now follow Lehman on Twitter (@tomlehman13) and Instagram (@tomlehman_golf).
“Combining one of the most recognizable names in golf with one of the nation’s leading colon cancer nonprofits creates a real opportunity to get more people screened for this preventable disease,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. “One in three eligible Americans is not up to date on their colon cancer screening. We need to change this by increasing awareness for colon cancer screening options, including Cologuard. We look forward to working with Tom Lehman and Fight CRC to show there are more options than ever to get screened.”
Colon cancer is widely known as one of the most preventable, yet least prevented forms of cancer. It’s the number-two cancer killer in the U.S., claiming 50,000 lives per year – more than both breast cancer (41,000/year) and prostate cancer (26,000/year). Despite colon cancer’s preventability, more than 35 million Americans age 50 and older are not current with screening guidelines.