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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – March, 2024

All of March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Join the North Georgia Health Distict in bringing awareness to Colorectal Cancer by sharing information about this disease.

Key Facts

According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance:

  • Screening is the No. 1 way to prevent or detect this disease early, when it’s most treatable. With early detection, CRC has a 90% survival rate.
  • Colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer in the United States. Yet it’s one of the few cancers that’s preventable.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates 152,810 new cases of colorectal cancer in 2024.

Colorectal cancer, or CRC, is a disease of the colon or rectum, which are parts of the digestive system. Unlike most cancers, colorectal cancer is often preventable with screening and highly treatable when detected early. Most cases of colorectal cancer occur in people ages 45 and older, but the disease is increasingly affecting younger people.

Risk Factors

While anyone can develop colorectal cancer, a few conditions can increase risk.

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • A personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps.
  • A genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
  • Black/African Americans and Ashkenazi Jews are at higher risk.

Common Symptoms

Colorectal cancer often develops without symptoms. When they occur, symptoms may include:

  • Blood in or on stool
  • Persistent unusual bowel movements like constipation or diarrhea
  • Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away
  • Weakness and/or fatigue
  • Losing weight for no reason

When Should I see a doctor?

Earlier is better! Symptoms of colon cancer and rectal cancer can be associated with many other health conditions. Only a medical professional can determine the cause of your symptoms.

The early signs of cancer often do not include pain. A medical provider should be consulted when any symptom develops. Early detection can save your life.

Quick Links

Colorectal Cancer Alliance

CDC | Colorectal Cancer