Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to Sweep the Nation

Communities Boast Blue to Knock Out Colon Cancer

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| Source: Colon Cancer Alliance
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a time when thousands of individuals, companies and community groups take to the streets to help raise awareness and encourage others to get screened for colon cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in Canada.

People are gearing up to turn the country and continent blue, the official color for colon cancer awareness, by hosting denim days and blue costume contests at offices and schools, holding local fundraising events, getting involved on social media and so much more.

"Involvement in Colon Cancer Awareness Month over recent years has really increased," says Eric Hargis, CEO of the Colon Cancer Alliance. "Our goal is to strike down taboos and get people talking about this disease. Colon cancer can be prevented and if more people really understood that, many lives would be saved. March and Dress in Blue Day are invaluable parts of making this happen. With each passing year and the help and dedication of those in our community, we are steps closer to creating a future free of colon cancer."

You can help raise awareness by getting involved. While awareness activities happen all month long, Dress in Blue Day is held annually on the first Friday of March. On this day, people unite in the color blue to raise awareness and funds to support the Colon Cancer Alliance's lifesaving programs. Visit the Colon Cancer Alliance's March website at coloncancermonth.org to learn more about these and other efforts.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates nearly 25,000 Canadians are diagnosed with colon cancer every year and 10,000 die from this disease. But this cancer is largely preventable through recommended screening and is often beatable when detected and treated in its early stages. Colon Cancer Awareness Month and Dress in Blue Day engage schools, businesses, community groups and individuals to spread this lifesaving knowledge. Materials and resources are available at coloncancermonth.org.

Dress in Blue Day began with Anita Mitchell. Ms. Mitchell was battling stage IV colon cancer and had lost a close friend and father to the disease. She saw a need to bring greater awareness to a cancer not many people wanted to discuss. Ms. Mitchell is a founder of Colon Cancer STARS and a volunteer for the Colon Cancer Alliance. She brought the Dress in Blue concept to the Colon Cancer Alliance in 2009. The Colon Cancer Alliance expanded this concept into Dress in Blue Day, a national celebratory day to raise awareness of colon cancer, specifically highlighting the spirit and courage of survivors and their families, and honoring the memory of those lost to the disease.

The Colon Cancer Alliance's mission is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers. This mission is being accomplished by championing prevention, funding cutting-edge research and providing the highest quality patient support services. Learn more at ccalliance.org.

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

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Colleen Pyra, (949) 554-4098