Meryl Streep Stars in Colorectal Cancer PSAs

LOS ANGELES, March 13 (UPI) — Triple Oscar-winner Meryl Streep will encourage people to get screened for colon cancer in public service announcements to air this month on U.S. television.

“For me, screening was simple and quick. It was no big deal, except for the huge sense of relief you feel afterwards,” Streep says in one of the ads which are being released in March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

The PSAs are to have their television premiere Wednesday on “Katie!”

The campaign is a collaboration between the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance, co-founded by Katie Couric, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign.

Streep, 63, said she was motivated to get screened after seeing Couric’s efforts on television to educate the public about screening’s life-saving value. The actress said she then encouraged her family members to do the same.

“I made my husband get screened. I made my brothers get screened. … I made everyone I love get screened,” Streep said. “It’s important to get the word out; people should know how easy it is to go through the procedure that can detect polyps and early cancer.”

“Time and again, we’ve seen that celebrities can bring much-needed attention to the need for colorectal cancer screening, as they have done so successfully with this campaign. ‘Icon’ is overused, but Meryl Streep truly is an American — and worldwide — icon. She is an ideal ambassador to convey that screening saves lives, and we are profoundly grateful for her support,” said Couric.