Wear Blue on March 5 to Promote Colon Cancer Awareness

February 15, 2010

Ask me why I am BLUEDress in Blue Day for Colorectal Cancer Awareness is held annually the first Friday in March.  Dress in blue and spread awareness that you can reduce your risk for colon cancer simply by getting a screening test.  Colon cancer is 90% preventable and yet it is second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.

Colorectal cancer strikes both men and women and is even more prevalent among African-Americans. Smoking, a diet high in fat and low in calcium, folate and fiber, and a family history of the disease are all risk factors. More than 90 percent of colon cancer cases are diagnosed after age 50.

“We want to remind everyone to start getting screened at age 50 and even earlier if they have a family history of colorectal cancer,” said Sheila Bates, manager of Community Outreach for Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center.

Colonoscopy remains one of the best tests to detect the disease. Polyps that grow inside the colon lining may go on to become cancer and those polyps can be removed during a colonoscopy.

“This truly is a disease that often can be prevented with screening, and that’s a wonderful message to share,” said Bates.

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