St. Augustine, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2022) – As a racecar driver and team owner in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli, Scott Lagasse Jr., knows the importance of moving quickly and with authority. It’s one of the many reasons why he and TeamSLR have partnered with the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) to promote colon cancer screenings.
Lagasse is a colon cancer survivor, and the decision to proactively see his doctor when he felt that something just wasn’t right enabled him to not only continue his racing career, but become a husband and father. Had he waited and brushed off his symptoms, a promising life and burgeoning motorsports career may very well have ended before his 40th birthday.
The experience led Lagasse to form ScreenYourMachine.org, which educates people on getting age-appropriate screenings for all types of cancer. ScreenYourMachine.org ensures the most important machine – YOU – runs at peak performance, no matter the mileage. It’s the kind of advocacy championed by this collaboration between TeamSLR and AGA, the trusted voice of the gastrointestinal community for 125 years. AGA’s vision is a world free of digestive diseases, including colorectal cancer.
Despite screening’s obvious benefits, colorectal cancer remains the second deadliest cancer among men and women combined. Screening is safe and most people have options, including at-home tests. It’s why Lagasse advocates for screening via ScreenYourMachine.org, namely by encouraging those of average risk to begin their colorectal cancer screenings at age 45. However, those who have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, offspring) with colorectal cancer have two to three times the risk of developing the disease. They should speak to a doctor about getting screened earlier than normal.
“I was still in my early 30s when I was diagnosed, but I knew something was wrong so I didn’t waste any time and I went and saw my doctor,” said Lagasse, whose quick decision paralleled his quickness in a racecar. “They caught it early and that was my saving grace. The treatment worked, but young-onset colorectal cancer is rising. I wasn’t some outlier. In people ages 55 and younger, incidence is rising by two percent every year.”
COVID-19 dramatically decreased the number of screenings, which gives Lagasse an even greater sense of urgency to use his platform at ScreenYourMachine.org to advocate cancer screenings.
“As soon as COVID hit, screenings dropped by 90 percent and diagnoses fell by 32 percent. That meant that by July of 2020, about 20,000 people were at risk for delayed or missed diagnoses,” Lagasse said. “Time is either your greatest asset or your greatest enemy when it comes to cancer. If you catch it early, you can treat it, fight it and more often than not, defeat it. But if you find it too late, it’s like joining a race after it’s started – you’re behind and it’s difficult to catch up.”
TeamSLR isn’t just racing, it’s racing to save lives, and Lagasse is as driven in this endeavor as he is inside a racecar.
About the AGA Institute
The American Gastroenterological Association is the trusted voice of the GI community. Founded in 1897, the AGA has grown to more than 16,000 members from around the globe who are involved in all aspects of the science, practice and advancement of gastroenterology. The AGA Institute administers the practice, research and educational programs of the organization. For more information, please visit www.gastro.org.
TeamSLR competes fulltime in the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli in a multifaceted effort that includes dedicated entries in the TA2 division, customer programs, driver coaching and car construction. Its history dates back to 1985 and covers a wide spectrum of motorsports, including NASCAR, IMSA, SCCA, ARCA and ASA. TeamSLR is a family-owned organization run by Scott Lagasse Sr., and Scott Lagasse Jr., The father-and-son duo have combined to win more than 100 races and seven championships across a variety of series and styles of racecars, from paved ovals to road courses to dirt tracks. For more information, please visit us online at www.TeamSLR.com, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram and on LinkedIn.