March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and national leading non-profit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance continues to reinforce why both men and women need to get screened for one of the top three cancer killers in the country.
The Alliance today revealed its digital awareness campaign "Tomorrow Can’t Wait," an approachable campaign that visually illustrates what is on the line for individuals to get screened (your bottom) and all ages can be affected. The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be 147,950 new cases this year, which is up from 145,000 in 2019, with approximately 53,000 passing away this year from the disease (up from 51,000 in 2019).
An example of an ad from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's digital awareness campaign "Tomorrow can't wait," which will appear throughout National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month on health-related websites.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. In its early stages, colorectal cancer is very treatable, with a five-year survival rate of 90%, making it highly stoppable and preventable disease through early detection. On average, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about one in 23 for men and one in 25 for women, however, this varies widely according to individual risk factors. About 71% of cases arise in the colon and about 29% in the rectum.
The latest growth of the disease:
- Nearly 1 in 3 eligible Americans have not been screened for colorectal cancer
- 1.4 million living Americans have been affected by colorectal cancer
- Colorectal cancer is nearly as prevalent in women as in men, as it's now the third most common cancer for women with an estimated 69,650 women to be diagnosed in 2020
- Although the overall death rate has continued to drop, deaths from colorectal cancer among people younger than age 55 have increased 2% per year from 2007 and 2016.
- Drivers of increasing young-onset colorectal cancer incidence are not well known
- The median age at diagnosis for colon cancer is 68 in men and 72 in women; for rectal cancer it is 63 years of age in both men and women.
Why Americans often don’t talk about colorectal cancer or get screened:
Americans, generally speaking, continue to not talk about colorectal cancer as much—or in the same way—as they’re talking about breast cancer and other forms of cancer, in part because of stigma associated with the body parts involved. Surveys indicate that individuals become hesitant to talk about that part of their body and fear is the number one reason why individuals don’t get screened.
Five reasons why Tomorrow Can’t Wait:
During awareness month, the Alliance will highlight five reasons why your butt is on the line and why Tomorrow Can’t Wait to get screened:
1. Screening can’t wait. Colorectal Cancer doesn’t care about age or where you are from, and it doesn’t just strike the older population. Screening is the No. 1 way to prevent colorectal cancer.
2. Warning signs can’t wait. If you notice any symptoms like blood in your stool, anemia, weight loss, abdominal pain, fatigue, changes in your digestion processes or narrowing stool, book an appointment with your doctor, immediately—especially if you have a family history of the disease.
3. Your family can’t wait. Ask your loved ones if there is family history of the disease or ask them if they have ever been screened for the disease. Create a healthy and open dialog with loved ones on why it's important to get screened and discuss screening options available.
4. Care can’t wait. Patients and caregivers depend on support when they face this devastating disease.
5. A cure can’t wait. 53,000 Americans will die from colorectal cancer this year; for them, a cure can’t wait. Detecting colorectal cancer early is the key to prevention and to ending this disease
within our lifetime.
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance’s mission is to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime through providing support services, awareness of preventive measures, and funding critical research.
The Alliance’s efforts will continue to focus on three key pillars:
Screen - Raise awareness about the importance of screening and drive the public to take action to be screened.
Care - Provide a network of support, resources and comfort to patients and caregivers when first diagnosed and every step afterwards.
Cure - Invest in new and better ways to treat the disease and prevent it all together.
The nonprofit is hosting several events and initiatives during the March awareness month, including:
National Dress in Blue Day (Friday, March 6) - The Colorectal Cancer Alliance first launched the National Dress in Blue Day program in 2009 to bring national attention to colorectal cancer and to celebrate the courage of those affected by this disease. Today, individuals, businesses and community groups across the country participate in National Dress in Blue Day by wearing blue and encouraging others to do the same. www.dressinblueday.com
Undy RunWalk and ScopeItOut 5K - Throughout the year, the organization hosts nearly 20 fundraising run/walk events in major cities throughout the United States, with the largest race in the series taking place in the Nation’s Capital on March 29. www.undyrunwalk.com
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.
About Dress In Blue Day
Dress in Blue Day began with Anita Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell was battling stage IV colon cancer and had lost a close friend and father to the disease. She saw a need to bring greater awareness to a cancer not many people wanted to discuss. Ms. Mitchell is a founder of Colon Cancer STARS and a volunteer for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. She brought the Dress in Blue concept to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance in 2009. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance expanded this concept into Dress in Blue Day, a national celebratory day to raise awareness of colorectal cancer, specifically highlighting the spirit and courage of survivors and their families, and honoring the memory of those lost to the disease. Today, individuals, businesses and community groups across the country participate in National Dress in Blue Day by wearing blue, raising funds and motivating others to do the same, all in the name of awareness.
Maurisa Turner Potts
Spotted MP (Marketing + Public Relations)