is colorectal cancer awareness month
Colon 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. This means that about 1 in every 19 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer. St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospitals and Clinics hope to lower that number by encouraging those over 50 to get screened. Screening detects precancerous polyps and allows them to be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colon cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.
In fact, it is estimated that in 2013, 50,830 people will die of colon cancer. But the truth is: it doesn't have to be this way. If everyone 50 years or older had a regular screening test, as many as 80% of deaths from colon cancer could be prevented.
To bring attention to colon cancer and to celebrate the courage of those affected by this disease, the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) launched its first National Dress in Blue Day™ campaign in 2009. Today, individuals, businesses and community groups across the country participate in National Dress in Blue Day by wearing blue and urging others to do the same. By “going blue,” the CCA hopes to raise public awareness and teach people the (sometimes surprising) facts about colon cancer and how they can decrease their own risk of the disease. “We are encouraging our employees at St. Mary’s and Clearwater Valley Hospital and Clinics to wear blue on March 1stto show their support to those who suffered and /or survived colon cancer and to bring awareness about the screening process,” commented Cheri Holthaus Community Relations Coordinator for St. Mary’s Hospital. “Similar to breast cancer’s pink ribbon, the nationally recognized blue star represents the eternal memory of the people whose lives have been lost to the disease and the shining hope for a future free of colon cancer.”
“So please, take control of your life and your health – if you’re turning 50 or are experiencing abnormal symptoms, have a personal or family history of colon cancer get screened. And urge those you love to do the same,” said Holthaus. “Talk to your doctor about scheduling a colonoscopy or another screening process.”