March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States? It is so important to raise awareness about this fact, because 50,000 Americans die each year from colorectal cancer. The thing everyone really needs to know is that most of these deaths could have been prevented, according to the National Colorectal Cancer Prevention Foundation.
The Facts About Colorectal Cancer & How to Get Involved in Raising Awareness
Colorectal cancer occurs in the colon or rectum. The term colorectal cancer is used to describe colon cancer, rectal cancer or both. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year 95,520 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer, 39,910 will be diagnosed with rectal cancer, and 50,260 will die from this disease.
Most colorectal cancers develop first as polyps, which are abnormal growths inside the colon or rectum that may later become cancerous if not removed. When discovered early, colorectal cancer is highly treatable. Even if the cancer spreads into nearby lymph nodes, surgical treatment followed by chemotherapy is very effective. Getting regular colonoscopies, something that is not to be feared, is the mainstay of colorectal cancer prevention.
Colorectal cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups, and is most often found in people 50 years or older.
How to Raise Awareness for Colorectal Cancer in March
- Schedule a colonoscopy. If you are over the age of 50 or if you have a family history of colorectal cancer in a parent or sibling, you should be having regular colonoscopies. If it’s time for your next one, or if you have never had one before, the time to do it is now. Also talk to friends and family who should be having colonoscopies and encourage them to schedule one. We say, “Take a day and save your life.”
- Wear blue -- The official color to represent colorectal cancer is blue, especially dark blue, and on March 1, many people across the country will be wearing shades of blue to raise awareness and join the mission to end colorectal cancer. It’s also a way to honor all those who have been, or are being, impacted by the disease. Wear blue on March 1 and all month to keep the conversation going.
- Create an event -- At your office or place of work, organize a Dress in Blue Day event, asking everyone to dress in blue and donate at least $5 to the cause. You can also involve competitions and activities, such as chili cook-offs, karaoke night, trivia events, and more.
- Talk about it -- If someone notices that you’ve been wearing blue every day in March and comments, tell them why! Share some information with them and refer them to this blog post. You can also share this post and other information on your social media networks, both personal and professional. If you have a personal story to share related to colorectal cancer, March is the time to make it known.
At Alabama Colon and Rectal Institute, we celebrate colorectal cancer awareness month by helping sponsor the annual Rumpshaker 5K. Find more information about the event here, and be on the lookout for more details about this year’s race soon!
Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute is centered around treating diseases of the colon, rectum, and anus.
Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute (also known as the “Butt Hutt” around town!) has been in practice since 1990 as a free standing, private practice located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. We are known for our efficiency and patient care, in a more relaxed office-based setting. Our doctors are known regionally for their expertise and are active in teaching surgical residents and other physicians. We are also a major sponsor of The Rumpshaker 5K, a race that promotes awareness about colorectal cancer. Check out our website for more information, or give us a call to make an appointment at (205) 458-5000, or email us at [email protected].