March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Nineteen years ago, President Clinton declared March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Increases in colorectal cancer screening have saved thousands of lives as colorectal cancer is often treatable when caught early. Research shows that people with access to less invasive forms of screening, such as CT colonography, are more likely to undergo testing.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, 95,520 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer and 39,910 will be diagnosed with rectal cancer this year.
Many of our patient leaders know firsthand what it’s like to be diagnosed with and fight colorectal cancer:
“To one day be told I had cancer was a big shock. It was the first time I have actively looked over that edge of life and seen my own mortality. What rules my life today is that colorectal cancer is 90% preventable with screening.” –Erika Brown, Founder of COLONTOWN
“Two weeks after my 40th birthday in July 2014 I was diagnosed with stage IV CRC with metastasis to my liver, which might have been missed if a proactive doctor had not demanded a CT scan and a colonoscopy. Doctors told me I was inoperable and terminal. With treatment they predicted I could live about 3 more years, saying that my liver would kill me before the cancer could. Thankfully, my incredible local gastrointestinal doctor who found my cancer also referred me to an amazing liver surgeon…who said, “This is not a roadblock, but a detour.” I have lived by that motto ever since!” –Tracey
“On July 16, 2010, I was sitting alone in my doctor’s office, waiting for the results of a recent colonoscopy. When they finally came, the attending nurse couldn’t even make eye contact with me. The gastrologist had found a tumor in my colon, and he scheduled a CAT scan and PET scan to check if my cancer had spread beyond my colon. In a matter of days, I was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with three metastases in my liver. I was only 46 years old…I sincerely believe that, had it not been for the innovative treatment I received, I would not be here today.” – Maria
This March has also marked a time when Congress has taken action to permanently repeal the medical device tax with the Protect Medical Innovation Act (S. 692). CT colonography is an excellent example of how innovations in medical imaging can help to save more lives by developing new technologies that allow for even earlier diagnoses and less invasive forms of screening. With your help, we can protect medical innovation!