March was officially designated National Colon Cancer Awareness Month in February, 2000 by President Bill Clinton. For the past 18 years, thousands of patients, survivors, caregivers and advocates throughout the country have join together to raise awareness about the 3rd most diagnosed cancer in the US.
We can all do something to raise awareness about colorectal cancer and take action towards prevention this month — and all year round. Here are four ways you can get involved with National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
1. Dress in blue on March 2nd.
The idea for ‘Dress in Blue Day’ originally came from Anita Mitchell, a stage IV colon cancer survivor who had lost a close friend and her own father to the disease. In 2009, ‘Dress in Blue Day’ was first launched by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance in a massive nationwide campaign to raise awareness.
2. Join an awareness event.
Another way to get involved during National Colorectal Awareness Month is through the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's Undy Run/Walk or the Colon Cancer Coalition's Get Your Rear In Gear events. These national events bring thousands of people across the country together each year and bring awareness to local communities.
3. Share social media posts.
Help spread the word. Many organizations will be sharing survivor stories, facts about #coloncancer, #ColonCancerAwarenessMonth events, #StrongArmSelfie’s, and more. You have the power to help increase their reach by sharing social media posts all month long.
4. Encourage the people in your life to get screened.
If you know someone who is over 50, has a family history of colon cancer, or is experiencing concerning symptoms, encourage them to talk to their doctor about getting screened. You could just safe a life!
“At age 59 I traded cancer for a colostomy. It was a good trade. Earlier detection with a colonoscopy may have 'saved my ass'. Get screened!” – Paul Riome