March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Fast Facts from the WHA Information Center

March 19, 2019

In March, cancer groups, hospitals, and communities focus attention on preventing, treating, and curing colorectal cancer. According to the WHA Information Center, from October 2017 to September 2018, Wisconsin had 3,255 inpatient admissions for cancer of the colon or rectum and 32,573 outpatient visits.

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S. The American Cancer Society’s estimates for the number of colorectal cancer cases in the U.S. for 2019 are:

101,420 new cases of colon cancer
44,180 new cases of rectal cancer
51,020 deaths to colorectal cancer

When colorectal cancer is found at an early stage, the five-year relative survival rate is about 90%. But, only about 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found before it has spread, leading to lower survival rates.

Unfortunately, about 1 in 3 people in the U.S. who should get tested for colorectal cancer have never been screened. This may be because they don’t know that regular testing could save their lives from this disease, or due to things like cost and health insurance coverage issues.

This story originally appeared in the March 19, 2019 edition of WHA Newsletter