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March is colorectal cancer awareness month

Saturday, March 1, 2014 

LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today declared March as colorectal cancer awareness month in Michigan.

Colorectal cancer is the third-most common form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer related death in the country. Statistics indicate every three minutes someone is diagnosed with colorectal cancer and every 10 minutes someone dies from the disease.

Snyder said observing Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month during the month of March will help highlight the prevalence and severity of the disease, and provide opportunities to educate Michiganders on the importance of early detection and screening.

“Colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable,” Snyder said. “With early detection, 90 percent of people who are diagnosed survive, but when the cancer is discovered at a late stage, the rate of survival drops to 10 percent. Taking proper precaution and getting yourself screened regularly is the best way to catch the disease early. It can save your life.”

Snyder said the Michigan Colorectal Cancer Early Detection Program, offered by the Department of Community Health, provides outreach and colorectal cancer education, individualized risk assessment, and screening to eligible 50- to 64-year-old men and women throughout the state.

If the majority of people aged 50 and older were screened regularly, the death rate from the disease could drop by as much as 70 percent. Yet, today, only 39 percent of colorectal cancer patients have their cancers detected early.

To find out more about colorectal cancer, including a helpful factsheet and information on how to schedule a screening, visit the program’s website.