Sometimes when a disease mainly affects those who fit into different categories as ourselves, it can be easy to let it go to the wayside and forget about its importance until it’s too late. Unfortunately, among the cancers that attack both men and women, colorectal cancer (affects colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. This killer reaches 140,000 Americans a year, and more than 50,000 of those people die from it!  Therefore, it is imperative to learn as much as possible about prevention methods, and to help others do the same.
The CDC, Fast Facts and Campaigns on Colorectal Cancer
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has some great fast facts about colorectal cancer that everyone should know:
- Risk of the disease grows with age, and over 90% of colorectal cancer occur in those who are age 50 and older.
- Symptoms can be hidden until much later in development, and screening tests will sometimes be a person’s first glance!
- It is mostly beatable when caught early.
- Someone more advanced in colorectal cancer stages may notice the following symptoms:
- Blood in or on stool
- Chronic stomach pain cramps or aches
- Unplanned weight loss
(These symptoms do not always mean cancer however, always talk to your doctor.)
The CDC has a couple of active campaigns designed to bestow knowledge upon as many people as possible. One campaign is called the Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign. This is a hub of resources designed for patients, family, friends and health professionals. Resources include fact sheets, brochures, posters, television and radio public service announcements designed to spread knowledge and awareness on the issue.
Another campaign produced by the CDC is the “Spread the Word!” campaign. This campaign provides digital advocates their very own Screen for Life Resource Toolkit. Here they will find quick access to resource materials designed to be shared on social media, websites and other digital sharing channels.
Colorectal Cancer Alliance Campaigns
The CDC is not the only organization fighting to spread the word about colorectal cancer and the importance of screenings. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance (CCA) has made some large strides towards raising awareness and inspiring action amongst the people. One fun event is the Undy RunWalk and DC ScopeItOut 5k. These are events designed to raise awareness…and funds dedicated towards fighting the disease.
There are several other campaigns the CCA has made that are both unique, and interesting to give others an exciting way to help. There is a “Never Too Young” campaign, that is pushing out the slogan to others, because 10% of new colorectal cancer victims are under the age of 50, and young-onset colorectal cancer is on the rise. There is also Dress in Blue Days 2018, which encourages allies to wear blue and raise funds for research and fighting of the disease. There is also a photo contest which encourages people also capture and share pictures of themselves wearing blue and helping out, in exchange for prizes.
Whether we are or aren’t over the age of 50, colorectal cancer does affect those younger than 50 as well, and that is why it is important to spread awareness about this killing disease. It can be treated when caught early enough, and the more people that have an opportunity to learn, means more people will have an opportunity to fight. The CDC and CCA have made it quite easy to jump in on the mission and help raise awareness and funds to fight the disease, get out there today and see what you can do to help the cause too.
1) Colorectal Cancer Alliance. (2018). “The Mission of Colorectal Cancer Alliance.” Retrieved from: https://www.ccalliance.org/ .
2) Cancer Prevention and Control. (November 6, 2017). “Colorectal Cancer Awareness”. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/colorectalawareness/index.htm .