Rapper Chuck D, SU2C team with PatientPoint to bring colon cancer screening message to the exam room

Rapper Chuck D is coming to a doctor’s office near you—with a reminder about getting checked for colon cancer.

The leader of '80s hip hop group Public Enemy recorded a music video with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and Hip Hop Public Health last year to encourage Black and Latino viewers to undergo colorectal cancer screening. Now, the PSA is getting a new audience.

The animated video features an original rap song urging viewers to “talk to your doctor and check your behind” to catch colon cancer early. English and Spanish versions, the latter recorded by fellow hip hop artist Pete Colon, have been running on broadcast, radio, out-of-home and digital media outlets since last fall. 

Now, SU2C is teaming up with patient engagement platform PatientPoint to show the PSA in the exam rooms of 30,000 primary care physicians around the country. 

While waiting for their doctor, patients can touch a screen and choose the video from a menu of educational content about screenings and other health topics. The idea is to encourage patients to ask questions while they’re still in the exam room and thinking about their health.

“Reaching patients at a critical point in their healthcare decision-making process with messaging about the importance of cancer screening is important and this collaboration with PatientPoint does just that,” SU2C CEO Sung Poblete said in a press release. 

The message is timely. Public health officials are concerned about a steep drop in cancer screenings and other types of routine preventive care during the pandemic. A report from Epic Research found colon cancer screenings plunged by 86% at the start of the pandemic and are still below pre-COVID levels. 

It also comes as the pandemic has worsened long-standing health inequities. As SU2C points out, Black people are nearly 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and are roughly 40% more likely to die from it than most other groups. Meanwhile, Latino adults are more likely to be diagnosed later, when the cancer is more deadly. SU2C points to screening disparities as one reason for the poorer outcomes, noting colon cancer is beatable in 90% of cases when found early.

PatientPoint is donating media for the campaign as part of its commitment to “share powerful content that sparks important doctor-patient discussions,” Kate Merz, the company’s executive vice president for content and creative, said in an email.

“When we reviewed this campaign—such an original, creative take on encouraging patients to get screened from one of the most influential hip hop voices of our time—we couldn’t pass on the opportunity to amplify its message,” she added. 

PatientPoint will share two additional SU2C PSAs on its platform this year. In one, “Orange is the New Black” actress Uzo Aduba urges cancer patients to share their experiences to help inform research. The other, starring Keesha Sharp, raises awareness about pancreatic cancer clinical trials.