The month of October is here. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The NFL continues to help share the message to get screened early.
For the 13th consecutive year, the National Football League (NFL) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are working together to support the fight against cancer through “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer.” The initiative, which kicks off in stadiums Sunday and continues to be highlighted through Week 6 games, addresses early detection and risk reduction efforts across multiple types of cancers. This year, Crucial Catch will again be part of the League’s It Takes All of Us cause brand platform.
Crucial Catch encourages people to catch cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. This year, that is a greater challenge than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on screening. At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, some cancer screenings declined by 90%. Through Crucial Catch, the NFL and ACS are allocating resources dedicated to safely restarting cancer screenings in communities with the most need. For many forms of cancer (breast, cervical, colorectal and prostate), the five-year survival rate is above 90% when detected early before it has a chance to spread.
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“The COVID -19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on cancer screenings, with a screening decline that the American Cancer Society expects to lead to more late cancer diagnoses and increased cancer deaths in the future,” said Dr. Karen Knudsen, MBA, PhD, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “This year, it is critical to safely restart cancer screenings and to ensure that everyone has access to lifesaving screening. The strong, ongoing support of the NFL and Crucial Catch is invaluable to the American Cancer Society’s work to increase cancer screenings, especially in under-served communities that need them most.”
Since 2012, the NFL has funded ACS’ Community Health Advocates Implementation Nationwide Grants for Empowerment and Equity (CHANGE) grants, which have contributed to over 600,000 screenings in underserved communities and reached more than 1,100,000 million individuals with education, screening reminders and patient navigation, bringing these life-saving messages and screening services to those who need them most.
All 32 NFL teams will have the option of supporting early detection and risk-reduction efforts for one or multiple cancers in-stadium and in their communities. In addition, players may wear cleats and shoelaces in any color representing the type of cancer awareness they support and/or have been impacted by during their team’s Crucial Catch game.
NFL-issued Crucial Catch gameday apparel will feature a multi-colored logo representing all cancers. New this year, New Era and Nike have created newly designed Crucial Catch gear, highlighting the NFL’s commitment to drawing awareness to and supporting multiple cancer prevention efforts. Fans can purchase NFL-licensed Crucial Catch apparel on NFLShop.com.
Beginning on Sunday, Oct.3, and continuing through Week 6, NFL Crucial Catch games will feature:
· Game balls with the Crucial Catch logo
· Multi-colored equipment for players, including helmet decals, captains’ patches, sideline caps and quarterback towels.
· Multi-colored ribbon pins for coaches and teams
· Caps and pins for game officials
· On-field multi-colored Crucial Catch stencils
· Multi-colored goal post wraps in end zones; and
· Field-wall banners in the color(s) of the cancer awareness movement(s) that each club supports
Game-worn Crucial Catch merchandise will be auctioned on NFL Auction (nfl.com/auction). The NFL does not profit from the sale of Crucial Catch merchandise. Charitable contributions are donated to the American Cancer Society to support its CHANGE grant program.