March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, a time to focus on colon cancer prevention and education. Here are five simple ways you can boost awareness about the third-leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Just as pink is the designated color for breast cancer awareness, blue is the color that symbolizes colon cancer awareness. Wearing blue is an easy way to show your support. Try to wear blue as much as possible throughout the month. When people ask why you are wearing blue so often, it will be the perfect time to tell them that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!
If you are at average risk for colon cancer, you should schedule a screening colonoscopy at age 50. If there are no signs of colon polyps, you likely will not need a colonoscopy for another 10 years. Risk factors such as family history or personal history of polyps or colon cancer can affect your screening age, so check with your doctor. Ethnicity can also be a risk factor. Studies have shown that African Americans are at higher risk for colon cancer, so a baseline colonoscopy at age 45 is recommended.
You can help a friend or loved one who is scheduled for a colonoscopy by being a caregiver before and after the procedure. This involves driving the patient to the appointment, waiting in the facility during the procedure and providing a ride home. Because of the sedative administered during the colonoscopy, the patient should not drive or return to work until the following day. Being a caretaker for the procedure is a way to provide tremendous support to a spouse, parent, loved one or neighbor.
Help others learn more about colon cancer by sharing educational resources with your friends and family. Here are several ideas for learning more and spreading the word:
If you have had a colonoscopy or if your life has been affected by colon cancer, please consider sharing your story with our community. Our Testimonial page contains colon cancer survivor stories, colonoscopy stories, young-onset colon cancer stories and helpful tips to get you through your first screening procedure. Take a few moments to read some of the inspirational stories by courageous men and women, and add a story of your own! You will never know how many lives you may touch by sharing a part of your own journey.
Let’s all work together to stamp out colon cancer. If we each do our part to spread awareness, we can boost screening rates and eliminate the threat of this disease.