(February 27, 2023, Salisbury, MD) March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. In 2023, the American Cancer Society estimates that 153,020 people in the US will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women combined as well as one of the most preventable cancers.

According to the CDC, “In 2019, the latest year for which incidence data are available, in the United States, 142,462 new cases of colon and rectum cancer were reported, and 51,896 people died of this cancer. For every 100,000 people, 36 new colon and rectum cancer cases were reported and 13 people died of this cancer.”

Colorectal cancer screening should start at age 45 or even sooner, for some, based on risk factors. Talk to your physician to find out when you should start screening. Screenings done routinely can identify precancerous growths that can be removed before they turn to cancer.  There are no early warning signs for this type of cancer which is why screening is so important.

Genetic risk factors and lifestyle choices can increase your risk for colorectal cancer. A history of inflammatory bowel disease, a family history of colorectal cancer and certain hereditary syndromes are examples of genetic risk factors. Lifestyle choices such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise/obesity and poor diet also increase risk. Changing lifestyle risks and getting regular screenings can help you prevent colorectal cancer.

Wicomico County Health Department’s Colorectal Cancer Screening Program is helping to combat this cancer by offering no cost screenings to eligible individuals.  The program also provides community education via health fairs and outreach events. On March 3, 2023, please participate in DRESS IN BLUE DAY to help spread awareness about colorectal cancer.

For information on the Wicomico County Health Department’s Colorectal Cancer Program, including program eligibility or outreach opportunities, call (410) 548-5175 or visit our website , Facebook page, or Twitter @WicomicoHealth.           

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