Why Is March Colorectal Cancer Month?

You hear us talk about March being Colorectal Cancer Awareness month, but do you know why?

In February 2000, President Clinton officially designated March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.  It continues to grow as more providers, patients and survivors talk about the issue, raise awareness and provide education about the importance of early screening to stop colon cancer before it starts.

Who Gets Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer generally is diagnosed in people over 50  but can happen at any age.
According to the Colon Cancer Alliance, while rates for colon cancer in adults 50 and older have been declining, incidence rates in adults younger than 50 years has been increasing.
Although many people think of it as primarily a men’s health risk this isn’t true.  and does not discriminate between men and women.
colon-cancer-at-a-glance
Source: Colon Cancer Alliance

While everyone over the age of 50 should be screened, those with a family history of colon cancer or other health issues, and those in high-risk groups are often screened before age 50.

What Is the Importance of Screening?

On average colon cancer can take years to develop and often starts as a small polyp on the lining of the colon.  During routine screenings, like colonoscopies, polyps can be identified and removed before they turn into cancer.

If cancer is present, the earlier it is detected and managed, the greater chance of survival.

Colon cancer is currently the third leading cause of death in the United States, but when caught early and treated it the survival rate is close to 90%.  Many colon cancer deaths can be prevented just by getting a simple colonoscopy.

What Can You Do?

  • Educate yourself about the risk factors and facts about colon cancer
  • Know your family health history
  • Ask your doctor when is the right time to begin colon cancer screenings
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about colon cancer with other people
  • Don’t avoid a colonoscopy because you think it might be unpleasant – it really isn’t that bad

Contact the surgeons at CRS for more information about colon cancer or to schedule a colonoscopy.  It might just save your life.

 

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