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No one really likes to talk about things like cancer, perhaps especially the types of cancer that are difficult to detect and hard to cure. But because colon cancer is now the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer deaths, this is an important topic that cannot be ignored. 

Show some love and care for friends, family and the larger community by bringing attention to and sharing about National Colon Cancer Awareness Month!

History of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

The first official National Colon Cancer Awareness Month was declared in March of 2000 by US President Bill Clinton. With the purpose of raising awareness for this disease, particularly as early detection is more likely to bring a cure, this month is supported by a number of different organizations and groups.

Also referred to as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, this event has grown in size and scope over the years, bringing to people’s attention the importance of the practice of screening for this cancer. As statistics for colon cancer are on the rise, and the people diagnosed with this disease are getting younger, the hope for this event is that more people will get screened to check for early markers of the disease.

If caught early, colon cancer can be curable through treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. But colon cancer is considered to be a quiet disease because it often does not show symptoms early on. And the longer the disease has to invade the body before discovery, the less possibility there is of the treatment working.

While the age for getting a colon cancer screening (without family history) used to be 55, it has now been lowered to 45, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

How to Celebrate National Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Forget about being embarrassed talking about colons – after all, everybody has one! Instead, get involved with National Colon Cancer Awareness Month by connecting with some of these ideas:

Get a Colon Cancer Screening

Those who are age 45 or older should check with their doctor and begin to have regular screenings for colon cancer. This may be done through various tests provided by the doctor, including a colonoscopy. Anyone who is younger than 45 but has a family history of colon or colorectal cancer should also ask their doctor about getting screened.

Raise Awareness about Colon Cancer

In addition to taking care of your own health, be sure to get others involved in National Colon Cancer Awareness Month through various events, activities and social media. It’s time to end the shame that can sometimes come with certain parts of the body and, instead, normalize the conversation about colon cancer prevention. One way to bring up the conversation might be to participate with Dress in Blue Day, held each year on March 1. 

The Colon Cancer Coalition is one group that has chapters all throughout the United States that host events and activities for the prevention of colon cancer. In addition to raising awareness, the coalition also raises financial support to fund research for a cure. One of the trademarked slogans this organization uses for their races is Get Your Rear in Gear!

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