The Colorectal Cancer Alliance, a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer, has launched a comprehensive marketing campaign. The effort will alert the public to the continued risk of colorectal cancer and the necessity of life-saving screening, which can be conducted safely during the pandemic and beyond. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, colorectal cancer screenings dropped roughly 90%, and diagnoses fell by 32%. By June, this decline in screening put 18,000 people at risk for delayed or missed diagnoses and will lead to additional deaths from this preventable disease.
Colorectal cancer is also more likely to affect Black and Hispanic communities. Studies have shown that the incidence is 20% higher among Black Americans and Hispanic Americans, who are less likely to be screened for colon cancer than either White or Black Americans and are experiencing colon cancer at earlier ages.
Reaching Out Across the Country
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance campaign, launched in Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Houston, Atlanta, and Phoenix, targets both health-care providers and populations most at risk to highlight the importance of screening and the safe options currently available. It also includes the launch of an online patient navigation tool that provides a personalized screening recommendation and education materials based on an individual’s risk factors.
“Screening is the number one way to prevent colorectal cancer and is 100% safe. It’s the nation’s second-deadliest cancer when men and women are combined,” said Michael Sapienza, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance. “We want to connect individuals to screening options that they will do and that match their risk level. That includes colonoscopy and at-home tests for individuals who aren’t ready to go to a medical facility for a procedure. As the largest patient advocacy organization for this disease, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance is in the unique position to bring together medical and technical experts to inform recommendations and promote all screening options.”