March is designated as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, to bring attention screening treatment and research. Of note, it’s not just a disease for senior citizens.
Diagnosis rates for people younger than 50 has increased 2.2% annually from 2007-16, according to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
The alliance also says the nation’s third most diagnosed cancer, afflicting an estimated 151,030 people in 2022. It’s also the second leading cause of cancer death, with an estimated more than 52,000 fatalities this year.
In observance of the awareness month, Manatee Memorial Hospital and We Care Manatee are hosting a free screening event this Tuesday (March 8) from 5-7 pm in the main lobby of the hospital, 206 Second St. E., Bradenton.
Anyone over the age of 45 is qualified to receive an at-home colorectal cancer screening kit at no cost. Specimens must be returned to the hospital by March 31 to complete the screening.
Also, colorectal surgeons, oncologists, gastroenterologists, primary care physicians and their staff will be there to discuss colorectal cancers and other care needs.
The American Cancer Society recently recommended that adults without a family history of the disease should begin screening at age 45.
We Care Manatee, a nonprofit organization, will have information on-site regarding free and reduced-cost options for patients without insurance.
For information, call We Care Manatee at (941) 755-3952.