We recognize National Colorectal Cancer Month to raise awareness for the fourth most common type of cancer in the United States. With well over 100,000 new cases each year and over one million cases total ‘Colon Cancer’ is a huge problem. But with early detection of this disease, it is estimated that well over half of the deaths that occur annually could be prevented. Thanks to National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a much-needed spotlight is being cast on the importance of early detection. In March, we come together to provide hope and advocate for awareness.
History of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
According to the American Cancer Society, anyone can develop Colon cancer, but some studied factors are: A diet that’s high in red meats (such as beef, pork, lamb, or liver) and processed meats (like hot dogs and deli meat) raises your colorectal cancer risk. Age and smoking are also risk factors. The best thing you can do to avoid this cancer is to stay active, don’t smoke, eat a diet full of vegetables instead of red meat, and get regular colon screenings, starting at age 45, or younger, if you have a family member who has had this cancer.
Colon cancer is treatable and is not necessarily a death sentence. The reason the cancer is more deadly for U.S. adults is because 20-25% of patients have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, which means the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body. Still, this may be cured with a range of treatment options available, including surgery to remove the cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, depending on how far the cancer has spread.
It was in the year 2000 that President Clinton officially recognized National Colorectal Cancer Month. Since then various organizations have worked together to try and raise awareness and increase early detection.