Wear Blue 2013 007Make it a priority this March to know the facts about colorectal cancer. Not enough Arizonans are up-to-date on their screenings, and too many are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at late stages. According to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about one in 20. In the U.S. and in Arizona, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. About half of all colorectal cancer diagnoses in Arizona occur in men and women of all age groups, races, and ethnicities. These diagnoses are typically late-stage, which are more difficult to treat.

The CDC, the American Cancer Society, National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, and Health Resources Services Administration have kicked off the “80% by 2018” initiative to prioritize colorectal cancer screenings nationwide.

We are joining forces with local partners including the American Cancer Society, the Colon Cancer Alliance, and the Arizona Alliance for Community Centers, to reach a shared goal of getting 80 percent of age-eligible adults screened for colorectal cancer by the year 2018. The 80 percent by 2018 movement is a huge way to celebrate National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, but the most important thing you can do this month is to talk to your doctor about getting screened if you are over the age of 50.