National Colon Cancer Awareness month, celebrated every March, encourages patients, survivors, and caregivers to share their stories, advocate for prevention, and share information about the importance of early detection. Along with organizations and foundations, practices and centers can also spread awareness and raise funds as a show of support.
The COVID-19 pandemic led many to delay their routine screenings, as visits plummeted 70-percent in March and April of 2020 in comparison to the same timeframe a year earlier. As treatments such as vaccines and related boosters have been developed patients are beginning to return for in-office screenings and visits. While this is an encouraging sign, large gatherings, and fundraising efforts to show support are still slim.
In 2020 and 2021, many fundraising events were forced to go virtual to help protect immunocompromised survivors. In 2022, in-person events are returning, and your practice can organize an event of your own, in-person, virtually, or both! We have provided several ways to get involved in support Colon Cancer Awareness month this year.
Create and host your own event for Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Furthermore, Fight Colorectal Cancer encourages others to host their own events, including hosting your own Climb for a Cure. These climbs will return in 2022 as 10 in-person hikes. The organization started the event in 2016 and has raised over $800,000 to date. The organization encourages others to host their own events. With COVID-19 restrictions lifting in areas of the country, volunteers are utilizing the organizations event toolkit to host their own climbs. You can host a climb in your community, neighborhood, or even your own backyard.
Add Colon Cancer Awareness Month content to your website and socials
If your practice or center hosts a blog, consider adding Colon Cancer Awareness Month content. You can use this information to relay the importance of receiving routine screenings. It may also relay information on the recent lowered screening age. You can also add a link to ask for donations to an organization of your choice.
The Colon Cancer Alliance also provides a social media toolkit, for use on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. These toolkits include topics on the screening age, insurance, the Walk to End Cancer, and more.
Host a virtual event
With varying state guidelines surrounding COVID-19, a virtual event can be just as effective as an in-person gathering. Fight Colorectal Cancer’s Climb for a Cure went virtual in 2020 and 2021. This led to the creation of applications to assist in tracking steps, miles traveled, donations, and more. The apps are still available for use and can be a great incentive for you and your staff. You can make donations based on distance, with all proceeds going to the organization of your choice.
You can also raise donations through National Wear Blue Day on March 4th. Challenge staff to wear blue on this day, for each participant donate a specified amount to the organization of your choosing. This simple task can help raise awareness in combination with small flyers or posters available for download from the above-mentioned toolkits.
Distribute informational literature
As part of your show of support, your practice can also distribute informational pamphlets throughout the month to patients. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance provides two pamphlets, CRC Awareness and Prevention Brochure, and a CRC Patient Support and Community Action Brochure.
Fight Colorectal Cancer provides a similar offering, with fact sheets, graphs, and animated GIFs for use on social media. Along with these sheets, Fight CRC offers example calls to action for use on socials and around your practice or center.
With recent changes and challenges surrounding colorectal cancer prevention, now is therefore the perfect time to help spread the word and encourage all eligible patients to receive their routine screenings.