Written by Theresa Rose on March 2, 2015

New initiative unveiled during colon cancer awareness month

EAGAN, MINN – MARCH 2, 2015 – March is Colon Cancer Awareness month and new efforts are underway to encourage people who should be screened, to get screened. Colorectal cancer will kill nearly 51,000 people in the U.S. in 2015, including nearly 600 in Iowa, according the American Cancer Society.

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the U.S., yet it is highly preventable, detectable and treatable. Through proper colorectal screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called polyps) in the colon, before they become cancerous.

Colon cancers detected at the earliest stage have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent, yet only 40 percent of colon cancers are currently detected at this stage – partly because too few people are screened after turning 50.

To help increase colon cancer screening rates, a new initiative, 80% by 2018 is now underway. The American Cancer Society have committed to eliminating colorectal cancer as a major public health problem and are working toward the shared goal of 80% of adults aged 50 and older being regularly screened for colorectal cancer by 2018.

As co-founders of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, a coalition of member organizations working to improve screening rates in the US, the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are committed to significantly increasing screening rates.

There are a number of colorectal cancer screening options, including “take at home” tests. Many public and private health insurance plans also cover colorectal cancer screening. To learn more about your options, talk to your doctor.

For more information and guidance on colorectal cancer, visit or call the American Cancer Society 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800-227-2345.