After the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and eating ice cream for breakfast, it’s now time to raise awareness about colon cancer by simply dressing in blue on Friday. Advocates hope that people with colorectal cancer and other general public will dress up in blue on Friday to create awareness about this cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in the US.
Every year, on the first Friday in March, supporters hold a ‘dress in blue day’ to encourage more and more people to get themselves tested for the disease. Infact, in the year 2000, president Clinton declared March as the National Colon Cancer Awareness month, and established blue as the color to create this awareness.
“You need to be screened, and Dress in Blue Day is about getting people to recognize that,” Eric Hargis, CEO of Colon Cancer Alliance, explained.
“Wear blue and talk about colon cancer. Talk about screening, talk about prevention of this disease, talk with your family and ask if they’ve been screened or if the disease runs in your family,” the supporters recommend.
While genetic factors turn out to play a major role in raising the risk associated with this condition, for a lot of people, colorectal cancer just occurs. This condition occurs equally in both men and women, and usually affects people in their early 60s.
Experts recommend that individuals at a high risk should get themselves screened at the age of 50 and then at regular intervals with high sensitivity fecal blood tests or colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. Such patients should have a talk with their doctor to find out which test is the best for them.
Fecal blood tests can help detect small traces of blood in feces which cannot be usually seen, which is usually a good pointer towards colorectal cancer. This test generally cost around $5 for a single test before insurance, and if the test comes out to be positive, a colonoscopy may be necessary.