March is colorectal cancer awareness month. You may have noticed posters in medical offices or ads on TV about this. How can you get involved? Take a look at the list below and find what appeals most to you.
- Get screened.
The first and best way to be an advocate for colorectal cancer awareness is to get screened yourself. Advocating for everyone’s health begins with advocating for your own health. The current guidelines recommend screening beginning at age 50 for people of average risk. Some guidelines recommend that screening begin earlier in certain groups, such as among African Americans. If you aren’t sure when you should begin screening, talk to your doctor. Your doctor will assess your current symptoms and other factors contributing to your risk for colon cancer, such as your family history, and then recommend when you should start screening.
- Understand the pros and cons of different methods of screening for colon cancer.
Screening is not a one size fits all experience. There are several ways to screen for colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about your options and, together, choose the best option for you.
- Encourage yourself, your friends, and family members to get more active.
Studies are showing that people who are more active decrease their risk for colon cancer. Besides going to the gym, consider other ways to get everyone involved. How about organizing a game of Frisbee at your favorite park? Spring is just around the corner and the days are becoming more pleasant. Or you can discover a new trail and do a nature walk. Still not convinced? How about signing up for the following…
- Participate in the Get Your Rear in Gear 5K in Raleigh. Even better, corral your friends, family, and coworkers into a team!
The event takes place on Saturday, March 9. Put on by the Colon Cancer Coalition, it aims to increase awareness of colorectal cancer and raise funds for the study of colorectal cancer. There are several events for all ages, including a kid’s fun run, a walk, and a timed run. Prizes for the most creative team, the largest team, and the highest fundraisers will be awarded at the end. For the competitive runners, there are also medals for the fastest time in each age group.
- Use social media to spread the word.
Social media allows us to connect with people around the country and around the world. You can help raise awareness by posting something on Facebook or Twitter this month. You can also post pictures of you participating.
- Put an article in your newsletter.
Does your company or organization send out a monthly newsletter, either electronically or through the mail? This is a great opportunity to write an article about colorectal cancer prevention. You never know whose life you might touch.
- Wear your best, brightest, and wackiest blue outfit on Dress in Blue Day.
The first Friday of March is designated Dress in Blue Day. Wear as much blue as you can and let your friends know why you are.
- Talk to our nation’s leaders at the annual Call-On Congress.
This annual event is especially designed for colon cancer survivors, their caregivers, and loved ones to spend three days in Washington, D.C. encouraging members of Congress to earmark funds for colon cancer research. This is a great opportunity to meet and network with people across the country who are also passionate about advocating for colorectal cancer. If a trip to D.C. isn’t possible, you can still participate by signing up for the livestream and signing a petition. For more information, check out their website at https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/advocacy/campaigns/call-congress/.
Do you have other ideas to advocate for colon cancer? Great! Let’s get started.