Raising awareness of colorectal cancer

Raising awareness of colorectal cancer

Based in Munich, the Felix Burda Foundation was set up in 2001 by Christa Maar and publisher Hubert Burda in the name of their son, who died of colorectal cancer in 2001.

“Colorectal cancer is not a medical problem, it’s a communicative problem!”

Christa Maar, CEO Felix Burda Foundation

Thanks to the dedication of the Felix Burda Foundation …

… statutory colonoscopy screenings are offered to all those with health insurance aged 55 and over.

… the German law on early cancer diagnosis and registration was passed. This ensures that all people with health insurance aged 50 and over will be personally invited for preventative screenings.

… there is a lobby in Germany for the around four million people with an increased hereditary risk of developing colorectal cancer. Although they contract the disease earlier, they currently have no legal right to funded preventative screenings at a younger age.

Around 26,000 people in Germany die of colorectal cancer each year, and around 62,000 new diagnoses are made annually. Around 30% of people who contract colorectal cancer have a hereditary – and therefore higher – risk.

Only early and regular preventative screenings can safely protect against this malicious disease. Colorectal cancer is not inevitable – it is the only form of cancer that can be completely prevented with the necessary precautions or cured if detected at a sufficiently early stage. Even if other cancers are detected at an early stage, the chances of surviving are not as great!

Prevention saves lives

In the first 10 years of statutory preventative colonoscopies:

  • 180,000 precancerous stages were detected & removed
  • 40,000 cases of colorectal cancer were detected at the earliest, most curable stage

  • 80,000 deaths from colorectal cancer were avoided

(Source: Professor Hermann Brenner, German Cancer Research Centre, study contains data from 2003–2012)

In addition to its communication work – including an advertising and PR campaign every March, Colon Cancer Month – the foundation also gets involved in health policy to improve the existing colorectal cancer prevention programme. The foundation’s successful products include Europe’s largest accessible model colon and www.appzumarzt.de, the free health butler for smartphones.

At an annual gala, the Felix Burda Award honours outstanding commitment to fighting colorectal cancer. Winners include such famous faces as Günther Jauch, Erol Sander and Wladimir Klitschko and companies such as ThyssenKrupp, EADS, BASF, AUDI and BMW, as well as pharmacies, doctors, scientists, politicians, health insurance funds, journalists and private individuals.

Links: Felix Burda Award on YouTubeFlickr, Twitter and Facebook


The logo of the Felix Burda Foundation, inspired by Felix Burda’s handwriting

Excuses can be deadly – the slogan for the Felix Burda Foundation’s 2016 campaign

“If you love your partner, send them for a colon cancer check-up” – slogan for the 2015 campaign

The Felix Burda Foundation’s model colon outside BMW Welt in Munich

Verena Schenk-Welker
Manager public affairs
+49 (89) 9250 1904