National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
By EMS Captain Liz Murphy
March 1, 2024

Each year, the month of March is dedicated to shining a spotlight on colorectal cancer. National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is an annual dedication to raise awareness about colorectal cancer, emphasizing its prevention, early detection, and treatment options. Colorectal cancer affects numerous lives, making early detections and education pivotal.

National colorectal Cancer Awareness month was established by the Colon Cancer Alliance and first observed in 2000. The intention was to emphasize the importance of proactive screenings, increases to education, research funding, and a greater understanding of the disease.

Colorectal cancer remains one of the most common cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that 152,810 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2024, and 53,010 will die from the disease. The number of people diagnosed has steadily declined since the mid-1980s due to increased screening and changing lifestyles.

In the U.S., about 10% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in people under 50. Those numbers are rising about one to two percent each year, and researchers are still finding out why. Young adults are the only population group experiencing an increase in colorectal cancer, and it's currently the deadliest cancer among young men and the second deadliest among young women.

How common is colorectal cancer?

• Colorectal cancer is a life-threatening disease, but it's a highly curable form of cancer if found early. Here are a few key facts you should know about colon and rectal cancer.
• Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. among men and women combined.
• Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
• More than 50,000 people will die from colorectal cancer this year.
• 1 in 24 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
• The average age of diagnosis among men and women is 66.
• There are more than 1.5 million colorectal cancer survivors in the U.S.

Questions, reach out to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (877)422-2030 or the Cancer Support Community (888)793-9355.

Hyperlinks: Colorectal Cancer Alliance
Cancer Support Community
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