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Friday, May 20, 2022

Marion County commissioners designate March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Marion County commissioners have designated March of 2022 as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

The commissioners signed the proclamation during the Marion County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday, March 1. The proclamation states that colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the United States.

It is estimated that there will be nearly 11,500 cases of colon and rectal cancer diagnosed in Florida in 2022, and over 4,100 people will die from these types of cancer.

There is a 90% survival rate when cancer is detected at an early stage, so early detection and screening can help prevent the vast majority of colorectal cancer deaths. If the majority of adults aged 45 and older schedule a regular screening for colorectal cancer, the death rate for the disease could drop by as much as 10%.

Jessie Driggers, health education consultant with the Florida Department of Health, offers some input on when and how often people should consider screening for colorectal cancer.

“People with a family history of the disease, who have inflammatory bowel disease, or confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes should speak with their healthcare provider to see when to begin screening, how often to get screened, and what test is right for them. One in three adults who meet the guidelines to get screened have never been screened. Since colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable, we need to encourage Marion County residents to speak with their healthcare providers and get screened,” said Driggers.

With colorectal cancer being preventable, treatable, and beatable in many cases, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month provides an opportunity to highlight the disease and offer education on the benefits of screening and early detection.