Chances are you know someone who has or has been affected by colon cancer – whether you’re aware of it or not. All the more reason to raise awareness for this highly treatable (if caught early) form of cancer. That’s why we’re celebrating Colon Cancer Awareness Month this March with 8 facts about colon cancer that could save your life.
- Colon cancer is the fourth most diagnosed cancer in the U.S., surpassed by breast, prostate, and lung cancers.
- 1 in 22 men and 1 in 24 women in the U.S. will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetimes.
- The average 5-year survival rate for colon cancer is 64%. (The survival rate can range from 90% if the cancer is discovered early to 14% if discovered later.)
- 97,220 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year. (And estimate 49,690 men and 47,530 women)
- African-Americans are diagnosed with colon cancer at higher rates than any other ethnic group in the U.S.
- The new recommended age for colon cancer screening was lowered to 45 in May 2018.
- Screening can be done using at-home products or in your doctor’s office. (Talk to your doctor about what choice can work best for you.)
- The U.S. is home to more than one million colorectal cancer survivors. Colon cancer is beatable!
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is preventable – and treatable! But because colons aren’t very glamorous (not that cancer ever is), they don’t get the press they deserve. That’s why March is Colon Cancer Awareness month! Because if you want to stay healthy – for your loved ones and for yourself – then it’s time to step up and pay some attention to your colon.
What should I do during Colon Cancer Awareness Month?
Get screened and spread the word! Colon cancer screening options are plentiful these days. From at-home tests, such as Cologuard, to in-office procedures, such as a colonoscopy, we’ve got you covered. Here at GSI, we offer multiple CRC screening options to fit your specific needs. Why is it important to get screened? Because CRC doesn’t necessarily produce any symptoms until it’s in the later stages of development. Early detection through routine screening could be what saves your life.
How can I help spread awareness?
There are so many ways to spread the word during Colon Cancer Awareness Month! For example, Fight Colorectal Cancer is an advocacy group that works with social media companies through their One Million Strong campaign to raise money for more research on how to prevent and cure CRC. Social media giants Instagram and Twitter send $1 to Fight CRC for every post or tweet with the hashtag #StrongArmSelfie.
You could run the Hitting Cancer Below the Belt 5k on June 8 to raise money and awareness, all while getting a great workout. You could even get a group of friends together to make appointments on National Colon Cancer Screening Day, March 3! You’re more likely to lose weight if you work out with a friend, right? Why not use the same technique to encourage each other to schedule colon cancer screenings?
If taking selfies and using hashtags aren’t for you, and you really can’t imagine yourself signing up for a 5k, you can always start by simply sharing this article with your friends and family! The GSI website has a lot of information that will probably answer most of the questions you have right now:
5 Things You Should Know About Colon Cancer
Share your own story
Finally, if you have been affected by colon cancer, sharing your story can be a powerful way to spread awareness. Whether you personally were diagnosed or someone you love was, your experience can have a profound influence on those around you. You may just inspire someone to get the screening that could save their life.
Sharon Osbourne, colon cancer survivor and reality TV star, is quoted in an interview on USAToday.com as saying, “People don’t want to discuss colon cancer. When I was better my kids were joking, ‘Mum why did you have to get colon cancer? Couldn’t it have been something else? Why there? This is so typical of you.'”
However, being open about your experience with colon cancer could let others know that they are not alone. Spreading awareness helps to remove the stigma from this all-too-common disease.