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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2018

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2018

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  • The month of March is observed as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
  • Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month helps to create awareness for screening, early detection, prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer.
  • Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) is recommended every two years, which helps detect and facilitate the removal of benign polyps.

Every year, the month of March is celebrated as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. A blue ribbon is used to create awareness for screening, early detection, prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer.

In February 2000, Bill Clinton, the then President of the United States, dedicated the month of March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month.


Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2018

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the US. It occurs in the bowel invading both the colon and rectal regions and is asymptomatic in early stages.

Therefore, men and women who are above 50 years are recommended to undergo a regular Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) every two years followed by colonoscopy. FOBT can help detect and facilitate the removal of benign polyps, the precursors for colorectal cancer.

About 1 in 20 people can develop colorectal cancer, which can be avoided by creating awareness about screening for early detection of colorectal cancer.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2018 - Social Media Toolkit

Colorectal cancer affects people of all racial and ethnic groups and is commonly found in people who are 50 years and older.

Nearly 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer can be prevented, if adults who are 50 and above go for colorectal screening regularly.

The social media toolkit was designed to help public health professionals establish a Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month social media strategy through Facebook and Twitter. The toolkit was developed by the George Washington University (GW) Cancer Center.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer can either start in the colon or rectum. The walls of the colon and rectum have several layers of tissues and cancer begins in the innermost layer and later slowly spreads to the other layers.

Facts about Colorectal Cancer

  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men, worldwide.
  • It is the second most common cancer in developed countries
  • The chances of developing colorectal cancer in a lifetime are 1 in 21 for men and 1 in 23 for women.
  • The incidence rates in India are quite low, i.e., 2 to 8 per 100,000.
  • Early screening can prevent 39,700 new cases and 37,200 deaths by 2030.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Screening is testing people who do not show any signs and symptoms of colon cancer. Screening involves one or more tests performed to identify if a person without symptoms has the disease or a condition that can lead to colon or rectal cancer.

Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer

Standard tests used for detecting colon cancer include:
  • Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy
  • Double-contrast Barium enema
  • Digital Rectal Exam (DRE)

Treatment and Prevention for Colorectal Cancer

Treatment of colorectal cancers depends on the extent of spread of the disease and the general health status of a person. There are 4 main types of treatment that include:
  • Surgical Treatment
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Biological therapy
Following a healthy lifestyle and regular screening can prevent colorectal cancer. Here are few tips that help prevent colorectal cancer:
  • Get screened regularly, starting at age 50
  • Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables and high-fiber foods
  • Avoid high-fat foods
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking
Communities, organizations, families, and individuals can get involved and spread the word during this Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

References :
  1. Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Social Media Toolkit - March 2018 - (http://nccrt.org/resource/colorectal-cancer-awareness-month-social-media-toolkit/)
  2. Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month - (https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/MarchToolkit.aspx)
  3. About Colorectal Cancer - (https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/about/what-is-colorectal-cancer.html)
  4. Colorectal Cancer—Patient Version - (https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal)
Source: Medindia

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