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New Cancer Concern for Young Adults; a Leader Emerges

Generation X (born in late-1960s to early-1980s) and Millennials (born in mid-1980s to early 2000s) are learning that they may have increased risks for colorectal cancer. This warning comes from a newly released American Cancer Society study showing young adults have a higher risk of the disease, as compared to older generations. This is likely due to the complex relationship between colorectal cancer and obesity, as well as conditions caused by an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity.

Baton Rouge-native Barkley Booker, a Generation Xer and colorectal cancer survivor, is setting out to help educate younger people about of their risks, warning signs and screening options for the disease. A tireless advocate for early detection, Barkley is happy to share her story and encourages people to listen to their bodies.

“People tend to put off addressing their health,” said Barkley. “But, I’m here to say that being educated and proactive can save your life. I’m just grateful I’ve been given a second chance and I want to give back.”

As part of Barkley’s advocacy, she is a member of the Louisiana Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals who are dedicated to reducing the burden of colorectal cancer in Louisiana. This year, she also accepted the voluntary event chair role for Get Your Rear in Gear, a walk/run to help raise funds for colorectal cancer awareness in the Baton Rouge area.

Barkley wants to help spread the word that colorectal cancer can be a completely treatable and beatable disease. She invites everyone to attend Get Your Rear in Gear on Saturday, April 1 to help increase awareness of the disease and enjoy a healthy, fun family activity.