Colorectal cancer, often called colon cancer, is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for men and women combined, yet it is highly preventable, detectable, and treatable. Colon cancer can often be prevented through screening, which can find and remove pre-cancerous polyps. Men and women who are at average risk of colorectal cancer should get screened starting at age 50.
A family history of colorectal cancer is an important risk factor for the disease. If you have one or more close relatives (parent, sibling, child) with colon cancer, it is very important to discuss your family history and colorectal cancer screening with your doctor before age 40 in order to ensure that earlier screening is begun when appropriate.
Organizations across the country have joined forces and committed to the 80% by 2018 initiative. This is a shared goal, led by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT®), to have 80% of adults aged 50 and older screened regularly for colon cancer by 2018. According to 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance data, Colorado’s screening rate stands at 66.7%.
There are a number of events and activities occurring throughout March, both nationally and in Colorado, to spread awareness about this preventable, detectable, and treatable cancer.
- Governor John Hickenlooper has declared March 2017 “Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” for Colorado
- Denver City and County buildings and the 16th Street Mall Clock Tower will be lit in blue in March.
- Wednesday March 1st - Fight Colorectal Cancer and the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) are hosting a March Awareness Kickoff event in NYC: Countdown to 2018. Register to join by livestream.
- Wednesday March 1st - Fight Colorectal Cancer has some suggestions for how to kick off March Awareness Month for public health professionals.
- Thursday March 2nd - The Colorectal Cancer Task Force, Colon Cancer Alliance, and American Cancer Society are hosting a Candlelight Vigil from 6-6:30pm on the steps of the City and County Building in Denver. Dr. Robert Reveille, from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the Denver VA Medical Center, will be speaking. We will be recognizing the progress Colorado has made towards preventing, treating, and beating colorectal cancer, and will be recognizing those touched by CRC with a candlelight vigil.
- Friday March 3rd - National Dress in Blue Day is an opportunity for people to unite in supporting a world free of colon cancer. We encourage everyone to Dress in Blue on March 3 and plan your own event to promote awareness!