2017 Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: What to Know

Can you guess the second-most lethal form of cancer in the United States? It might surprise you to learn that colorectal cancer (also known as colon cancer) kills more than 50,000 people each year.

In 2000, President Clinton officially designated March as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. The goal is to raise awareness about the disease and help families, communities, and organizations take action to help prevent any more people from being harmed by colon cancer.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colon cancer is an abnormal growth of cells inside of the colon or rectum, the passageway that links the colon to the anus. The disease often begins as polyp that later develops into cancer. Colon cancer is found in men and women of all ethnic and racial groups, but is most common in those older than 50.

Fortunately, colon cancer is highly treatable if detected. The National Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion says that if all people age 50 and over were regularly screened, 60% of colon cancer deaths could be prevented. The best way to protect yourself from the disease is getting screened regularly, especially if you are 50 years or over.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness in D.C.

If you’re looking to get involved in raising awareness and helping with the prevention of colon cancer, there are several local and national events you can participate in:

  • Scope It Out 5K: This 5K run/walk will be held Sunday, March 19 beginning at the Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C. There’s still time to register online. All funds raised go to research, prevention, and patient and family support initiatives.
  • #TAMUHealth Tweetchat: If you want to learn about colon cancer from healthcare professionals, Texas A&M University’s Health Science Center is hosting a live tweetchat beginning at 1 PM on March 22. Use the hashtag #TAMUHealth and tweet @tamhsc to ask questions and learn about treatment, prevention, and care.
  • Get Blued! Photo Contest: Blue is the official color of colorectal cancer awareness month. If you think you’ve got the bluest swag, get your props and background together and submit your picture to the Colon Cancer Alliance website. The grand prize is an inflatable colon delivered to the location of your choice.

The American Inn of Bethesda is proud to support the National Institutes of Health and our friends in the community helping to fight all forms of cancer and diseases.