Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: A Call to Action

Colorectal Cancer Month

March marks Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, an essential time to spotlight the importance of colorectal health and the steps we can take to combat this disease. Colorectal cancer, which encompasses both colon and rectal cancers, is a significant health concern worldwide but is also one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer when detected early.

Understanding Colorectal Cancer: Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or the rectum, parts of our digestive system which play a crucial role in the body’s ability to process food and extract nutrients. It often begins as small, benign clumps of cells called polyps that form on the inside of the colon. Over time, some of these polyps can become cancerous. The progression from benign polyp to cancer is a key reason why screening is so important.

The Importance of Screening: Screening saves lives. It’s as simple as that. Regular screening can often find colorectal cancer early when it’s small, hasn’t spread, and might be easier to treat. Some screening tests can even prevent cancer by finding and removing polyps before they have the chance to turn into cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45. However, those with a family history of the disease or other risk factors should consult with their healthcare provider about starting screening earlier.

Prevention and Lifestyle: While some risk factors for colorectal cancer, like age and genetics, are beyond our control, there are several lifestyle changes we can make to lower our risk:

  • Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been linked to a lower colorectal cancer risk.
  • Exercise: Regular physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Weight Management: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing and dying from colorectal cancer.
  • Avoid Tobacco and Limit Alcohol: Smoking and heavy alcohol use can increase your risk of colorectal cancer.

The Power of Awareness: Awareness is a powerful tool in the fight against colorectal cancer. This March let’s spread the word about the importance of screening and prevention. Talk to your family and friends about their risk factors and encourage them to get screened. Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is more than just a calendar event; it’s a reminder of the power we have to influence our health outcomes.

By staying informed, making healthy lifestyle choices, and adhering to recommended screening guidelines, we can make a significant impact in the fight against this disease. Let’s take action this March and beyond to protect our colorectal health and encourage those around us to do the same. Together, we can work towards a future where colorectal cancer is no longer a common threat to our well-being.


Colorectal Awareness Month

American Cancer Society