03/12/2013 11:35 pm ET

Meryl Streep Stars In New PSA For Colorectal Cancer Screening

Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep is the latest big-time celebrity to encourage colorectal cancer screening in nationwide PSA broadcasts.

In the PSA -- the full version of which will premiere Wednesday at 3 p.m. on the "Katie!" show, hosted by Katie Couric -- Streep encourages people to get screened for the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. in men and women. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

"Over the years I have played some characters you could call controlling, but the truth is, there's so much in life we can't control," she says in the clip. "But here's something we can: colorectal cancer."

Streep joins other big names, including Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton, who have also lent their faces for the "Screen for Life" campaign. The campaign is a joint effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Entertainment Industry Foundation's National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.

According to the National Cancer Institute, an estimated 102,480 new cases of colon cancer and 40,340 new cases of rectal cancer are expected to develop this year. Nearly 51,000 people are estimated to die.

Colorectal cancer screening -- whether with colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or fecal occult blood testing -- is encouraged starting at age 50 until age 75, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.



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