March Gladness is Right Around the Corner

Well, we're almost through with the first month of 2014, and in a couple of weeks, football season will officially be over. But never fear! March Gladness is around the corner. No, that's not a typo. March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, which is also when the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament, affectionately known as March Madness, occurs. Our hope with March Gladness is to encourage people to rally around their health in the same way that they rally around their favorite team.

Did you know that you have a 1 in 20 chance of developing colon cancer in your lifetime? That chance only grows larger when you have certain risk factors: being 50 years of age or older, for African Americans, being 45 years of age or older, eating a diet high in fat, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and having a family history of colon cancer or colon polyps. Recent research has found that family history may play a bigger role in colon cancer risk than previously thought.

The best defense against colon cancer is getting a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is the only test that allows both detection and prevention at the same time. Colon cancer is easily treatable when discovered early. In fact, when caught early, colon cancer patients have a 90 percent chance of survival.

Men and women should schedule their first colonoscopy at age 50. African Americans, who have a greater risk of developing colon cancer than other ethnicities, should be screened at age 45. Individuals with first degree relatives who have a history of polyps or colon cancer should be screened 10 years prior to the youngest case. A conversation with family members about their colonoscopy history is one of the best ways to determine whether screening needs to happen before age 50.

If you turn 50 this year, there's no better time to schedule a colonoscopy than on March 7, which is's National Colon Cancer Screening Day. Our goal is to encourage at least 2,014 first-time patients to participate in their first screening on this day. So what are you waiting for? Get off the couch and get in the game! Go to our website and find a center to schedule your first colonoscopy. Help us spread the word during March Gladness, and together, we can stop colon cancer now!  

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