March is Colon Cancer Awareness month, and tomorrow, March 6, Roper St. Francis is participating in the national Dress In Blue Day, bringing attention to colon cancer and celebrating the courage of those affected by this disease. (For you ACC basketball fans, it’s also the Friday before the Duke/UNC game, so various shades of blue are in order.)
Cancer seems to be becoming increasingly color-coded – starting with the ubiquitous pink ribbon of breast cancer. The nationally-recognized blue star for colon cancer is in honor and memory of those who have been affected by the disease, including the 140,000 Americans diagnosed with colon cancer every year. But the blue star is also very much a symbol of hope for a future free of colon cancer.
A few things to be aware of as you pull out that bright turquoise sweater and neon blue scarf (‘cause it’s going to be cold tomorrow too!):
- Colon cancer often has no symptoms until it’s at an advanced stage, making it the second leading cause of cancer death.
- You can reduce your risk through regular screenings, a healthy diet with fiber and fresh fruits and vegetables, and regular exercise.
- Beginning at age 50 (or earlier if you are high risk), everyone should talk to a doctor about getting a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer.
- There are currently more than one million colon cancer survivors in the United States.