March 8, 2009

March Is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month


March Is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

As the month of March brings colon cancer into focus, it’s a great time to increase public understanding of the disease, including its prevalence, approaches to screening and prevention, treatment options, and resources that offer updated colorectal cancer information throughout the year.

According to estimates from the American Cancer Society, more than 100,000 new cases of colon cancer and about 40,000 new cases of rectal cancer would be diagnosed in the United States in 2008. Together, both diseases would be responsible for almost 50,000 deaths. Excluding skin cancer, these numbers place colorectal cancer as the third most common cancer among U.S. men and women. There is, however, good news about colorectal cancer in the United States, as death rates associated with the disease have dropped during the past 15 years and advances continue to be made in screening, prevention, and treatment.[1]

In particular, progress in screening and prevention of colorectal cancer serves as a strong reminder to follow recommended screening guidelines and encourage your friends and family to do so as well. Screening is often recommended beginning at age 50, with specific indications according to individual risk. Techniques include colonoscopy and a fecal occult blood test. For a more complete list of screening tips and recommended frequency, see Colon Cancer Screening Tips.

Learning More About Colorectal Cancer

[1] The American Cancer Society. Overview: Colon and Rectum Cancer. How Many People Get Colorectal Cancer? Accessed March 2009.

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