Protecting one’s health is important, but many people face hurdles in accessing life-saving resources to prevent, detect, and treat colorectal cancer
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and the leading nonprofit dedicated to ending this disease, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (Alliance), is taking on issues of access to life-saving prevention, treatment, research, and community.
“A person’s race, income, or zip code should have no bearing on whether they get colorectal cancer, and it shouldn’t determine whether they survive,” said Angie Lawry, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the Alliance. “The fact is, a person’s access to resources is too often the difference between getting screened or not, getting high-quality treatment or not, and living or not.”
Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States and the fourth most common overall. An estimated 151,030 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with it this year, and 52,580 could die, according to the American Cancer Society. Screening is the No. 1 way to prevent colorectal cancer or catch it early, when treatments are most successful.
Issues like low income, no health insurance, and no regular health care provider present barriers to colorectal cancer screening. Barriers like these can lead to later-stage, harder-to-treat diagnoses. The Black community, for example, suffers mortality rates 35% higher than their non-Hispanic white counterparts. A recent study showed more than one-half of this disparity could be explained by differences in insurance status.
“Health disparities exist, and they’re pervasive,” Lawry said. “One strategy to improve healthcare is to increase access to life-saving prevention, treatment, research, and community. The Alliance has been doing that from day one, and our urgency has only increased.”
Here are a few ways the Alliance is increasing access:
- Our online quiz (quiz.getscreened.org) provides a free personalized screening recommendation based on a person’s risk level. People who take the quiz are navigated through the screening process, and we help those in-need access a test.
- Our Personalized Treatment Program provides molecular profiling with treatment recommendations to improve patient outcomes — letting anyone, anywhere access world-class care.
- Our clinical trial finder and biomarker education program help patients and caregivers access research studies and critical information that can change the trajectory of their journey.
- Our online communities and national conference, AllyCon, bring allies together, providing access to peer support and education. Attendees of AllyCon can receive financial assistance to attend.
Join the Alliance in its mission to end colorectal cancer. Visit our awareness month page and on Friday, March 4, participate in Dress in Blue Day for colorectal cancer awareness.
About the Colorectal Cancer Alliance
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with our nation of passionate allies, we diligently support the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; eagerly raise awareness of preventive screening; and continually strive to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, we are fiercely determined to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime. For more information, visit ccalliance.org.
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