March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Colorectal cancer is one of the top five most diagnosed cancers in the CNMI, so March has been designated to spreading awareness on how this disease can be prevented and how it can be treated.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres proclaimed March National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in a proclamation signing last Thursday.
Torres said the proclamation is important because it acknowledges that colorectal cancer exists in the CNMI and it urges community members to support the Commonwealth Cancer Association’s cause.
According to the proclamation, it is important to educate oneself on the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer, and to be aware that risk factors increase after the age of 50.
Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths for men and women in the United States.
The vast majority of colon cancer deaths can be prevented through proper screening, early detection and treatment. The survival rate of individuals who have early stage colorectal cancer is 90 percent but goes down to only 10 percent after it has spread to other organs.
In support of the fight against colon cancer, the CCA will be hosting a health walk throughout March beginning on March 2 until the last Friday of the month.
CCA will also host a survivor’s support group meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan on March 8 starting at 5:30pm.
The highlight of the month will be the swim/bike/run/relay race event that will be held on March 17. Details to follow.
According to CCA executive director Juan Lizama Babauta, he is also working on getting an early screening program for colorectal cancer this March because early diagnosis is key.