Cancer Prevention Works: National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – Screening Saves Lives

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National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: CDC's Screen for Life Reaches Big Milestone!

CDC Screen for Life 20th Anniversary

CDC's Screen for Life campaign marks its 20th anniversary in 2019. This groundbreaking and evidence-based public awareness campaign has grown and evolved through the years, developing a broad range of materials and resources for the public, health care providers, and partners in every state and several tribal departments of health. Most significantly, in the two decades since the campaign began, screening rates have increased from about 34% to about 62%.

This March, during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Screen for Life is launching new radio public service announcements (PSAs) in English and Spanish, as well as a paid digital and social media initiative. New shareable graphics are also available for program partners and others to use to draw awareness to the benefits of colorectal cancer screening.

Please join us! Here are some things you can do:

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Man and woman smiling

Don't Miss Your Chance to Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is here and this may be your chance to prevent colorectal cancer. The most effective way to lower your risk of colorectal cancer is to get screened regularly, beginning at age 50. Through screening, colorectal cancer can be prevented. Screening can find polyps (abnormal growths) that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can also find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment works best. Several different screening tests can be used to find polyps or colorectal cancer. If you are age 50 or older and have not been screened for colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about which tests are right for you and how often you should be screened. Find out how colorectal cancer screening is making a difference for people with these personal stories. Learn more about colorectal cancer screening tests. 

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cancer patient talking with doctor

Taking a Closer Look at Smoking and Smoking Cessation Among Cancer Survivors

Cigarette smoking is causally linked to many cancers. A new study looks at smoking and the use of cessation aids among survivors of tobacco-associated cancers (TAC) and non-tobacco-associated cancers (nTAC) using Kentucky Cancer Registry data, specifically lung, colorectal, pancreatic, female breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer cases. From 2007 to 2011, there were 10,033 TAC survivors and 13,670 nTAC survivors identified from the Kentucky Cancer Registry. Study results showed that a history of smoking in the 12 months before a cancer diagnosis was higher for TAC survivors (64%) than for nTAC survivors (40%). Smoking cessation counseling before and/or after a cancer diagnosis was significantly more common among TAC survivors (4.8%) compared to nTAC survivors (2.2%). Recommending tobacco cessation counseling services and medications or including these resources in survivorship care plans are actions that health care providers can take to help cancer survivors improve their quality of life and reduce the risk of further disease.

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CDC Screen for Life logo with 20 year celebration

New Blog Post Highlights CDC's Screen for Life Big Anniversary

CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign celebrates 20 years of working to improve the health of millions of Americans by providing awareness of colorectal cancer (CRC) and the benefits of screening. A new blog post by the campaign director, Cynthia Gelb, takes a look at the beginning of Screen for Life and where it is now. When Screen for Life launched in 1999, the initiative led the way in breaking the silence about a cancer that people didn’t want to talk about. Today, Screen for Life helps educate people about screening test options and the myths related to common excuses people use to avoid getting tested for colorectal cancer. A successful media presence over the years, including PSAs that feature the “Screening Saves Lives” message, has led to 14.6 billion audience impressions. There’s still more to do and CDC is aiming higher to increase colorectal cancer screening.

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Did You Know?

CDC SFL Don't Wait Get Screened
  • More than 90% of colorectal cancer cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older.
  • In 2016, more adults aged 65 to 75 years were up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening (78.4%) than adults aged 50 to 64 years (61.8%).