Blue is the color of hope in March during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

FEEL FREE TO SAVE AND RE-USE THIS IMAGE YOURSELF: This image of a blue ribbon was created so that you are free to re-use it yourself in social media as a reminder of this special month and the importance of early screening.

Please, spread the news now

MARCH is a special life-giving month when all of us who understand the importance of early screening for colorectal cancer spread reminders as far and wide as possible. I will be joining countless survivors in that effort, as always, by telling my own story.

This matters to me and my family—because I would not be writing this column today if it were not for a routine screening that caught my cancer.

That’s why I’m sharing so many inspiring resources myself. My true story of building the resilience to beat Stage IV cancer—in fact, beating it twice in my life—is told in my memoir, Shining BrightlyIf you stop by my website, ShiningBrightly.com, you’ll find weekly podcasts about resilience and hope—and you can even download a free PDF of my best tips for “Resiliency when confronting cancer.” (That helpful PDF is on this page of my website in the navy-blue area.)

Who established this special month?

Advocates for the families touched by this deadly disease had lobbied for years for greater awareness and finally in 2000, President Clinton signed a proclamation officially designating March for heightened awareness. That proclamation has been repeated since then by the White House.

Why is this month even more important—now?

As the Journal of the American Medical Association reports, these forms of cancer are increasing at an alarming rate among younger adults!

The JAMA report says, in part:

From 2010 to 2019, the incidence rates of early-onset cancers increased substantially over the study period. Gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest-growing incidence rates among all early-onset cancers. Although breast cancer had the highest number of incident cases, gastrointestinal cancers had the fastest-growing incidence rates among all early-onset cancers.

The rapid rise of early-onset cancers is alarming all of us

This month, I represented Colontown—the global nonprofit network of patients, survivors, and care-partners that I am honored to serve as Chairman of the Board—at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco.

At this huge conference, everyone was talking about the growing danger among young adults. We’ve got to alert families to the importance of early screening, which can save lives—like my own.

And, remember, there’s an opportunity to show your concern on Friday, March 1, this year—which is national Wear Blue Day for awareness of this form of cancer and the need for screening. I’ll be wearing blue that day—how about you?

Need more news headlines to share?

NBC NEWS: Colon cancer is killing more younger men and women than ever, new report finds

NEW YORK TIMES: Colon Cancer Is Rising Among Younger Adults. Here’s What to Know.

VERYWELL HEALTH: Why Is Cancer Rising In Young Adults?

And what’s the most important message?

Screening.

Screening.

Screening.

Are you tired of reading that word in my column? Well, please, take action and either get yourself or someone else you love scheduled for a screening.

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