Colon Cancer Awareness Takes Center Stage for One Month

Colon Cancer Coalition encourages symptom awareness and storytelling to promote on-time screening for colorectal cancer


MINNEAPOLIS, March 2, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Colon (colorectal) cancer doesn't discriminate based on gender or ethnicity, and as a recent study shows, this disease is ignoring age as well. As Colon Cancer Awareness Month begins, cancer survivors and advocates are geared up to educate the public, raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of the nation's No. 2 cancer killer, and encourage screening for this preventable disease.

"We know how to detect and prevent colon and rectal cancer when it is discovered in its earliest and most treatable stages," explains Anne Carlson, executive director of the Colon Cancer Coalition. "Awareness, education, and screening efforts truly happen 12 months a year. By designating one month out of 12 for a concerted effort by the entire colorectal cancer community, we make great strides at educating the public about the risks, symptoms, and importance of screening for this disease. This year the Colon Cancer Coalition is focusing on sharing stories and encouraging symptom awareness throughout March by continuing the daily Faces of Blue story series and being upfront about symptoms and screening in other social media messaging."

All people should understand what their family history, ethnic background, and other health risk factors mean for scheduling on-time colorectal cancer screening. For average risk individuals, colorectal cancer screening should begin at age 50. African Americans and other ethnic groups should start at 45. Individuals with a family history of colon cancer or polyps should be screened 10 years before a first-degree relative was diagnosed with colon cancer or polyps. One in 20 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer in their lifetime, and one in seven of those will be diagnosed under the age of 50. It is vitally important that young adults understand the signs and symptoms, then talk to their doctors about protecting their health.

What can be done to reduce the risk of colon cancer?

  1. Get screened as recommended.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight, and adopt a physically active lifestyle.
  3. Understand the symptoms, then talk to your doctor if you experience blood in your stool, chronic constipation, or unexplained weight loss.
  4. Consume a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting intake of red and processed meats.
  5. Limit your alcohol consumption and don't smoke.

Join the Colon Cancer Coalition this Month
Be a part of the movement through a Get Your Rear in Gear® or Tour de Tush® event this month and throughout the year. The 2017 Colon Cancer Coalition event series will include 43 Get Your Rear in Gear® Run/Walk events, four Tour de Tush® Bike Rides, and four Caboose Cup Golf outings; 51 colon cancer awareness events in 27 states. The Get Your Rear in Gear run/walk series is the nation's largest event series raising money for colon cancer awareness. Ten events are scheduled in Colon Cancer Awareness Month:

  • Charlotte, N.C., Sat., March 4
  • Raleigh, N.C., Sat., March 4
  • Savannah, Ga., Sat., March 4 (licensed event)
  • San Antonio, Texas, Sun., March 5
  • Hampton Roads, Va.,Sat., March 25
  • Fort Worth, Texas, Sat., March 25 (Get Your Rear in Gear & Tour de Tush)
  • Tulsa, Okla., Sat., March 25
  • Tucson, Ariz., Sat., March 25
  • Philadelphia, Pa., Sun., March 26
  • Asheville, N.C., Sun., March 26

A complete list of all events can be found at

The Colon Cancer Coalition has several other activities planned this month to take advantage of the added attention paid to the disease during these 31 days.

  • Since 2012, the Colon Cancer Coalition has shared over 175 Faces of BLUE stories, colon cancer survivors and caregivers sharing their experiences. Visit the Colon Cancer Coalition on Facebook throughout March to read each new story, or search #facesofblue on Twitter and Instagram.
  • The Colon Cancer Coalition's award winning *Don't Miss It screening campaign will be seen in Tulsa, Okla., Charlotte, N.C., and Kansas City, Kan. & Mo. throughout the month. With a simple asterisks above important life events, *Don't Miss It aims to connect with individuals on an emotional level and provide information to be proactive with digestive health. The messages direct individuals to to learn more about colon cancer and screening or find a provider in their area.

About the Colon Cancer Coalition
The Colon Cancer Coalition is a non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, Minn., dedicated to encouraging screening and raising awareness for colon cancer. The organization's signature Get Your Rear in Gear® and Tour de Tush® events are volunteer-driven in communities throughout the United States. Since 2004, millions of dollars has been granted by the Colon Cancer Coalition to local programs that promote early prevention, screening, and patient support services for this disease. By making the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy a part of the everyday language, we believe we can overcome the fear and decrease deaths from this largely preventable cancer. For more information visit

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