March was first declared Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month nationally in 2000. Each year the initiative has grown, but the message has remained the same. Cancer of the colon and/or rectum is the second leading cause of cancer related death in America and is the third most diagnosed cancer among men and women.

In 2014, nearly 1,500 people in Georgia will die from colorectal cancer, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Colorectal cancer is preventable. In fact, through screening tests, 9 out of 10 cases of colorectal cancer can be prevented. To inform the public about this important health issue, the Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is launching a number of awareness initiatives.

In addition to the national proclamation, state and local leaders support the cause. “We are grateful to Governor Nathan Deal as well as Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard for proclaiming March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month” said Cancer Coalition Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Control Denise Ballard.

The Blue Star is the symbol for Colorectal Cancer Awareness, explained Casey Perkins, Communications Coordinator for the Cancer Coalition. “Local TV, print and online news providers are helping the Cancer Coalition spread the word by wearing the Blue Star and sharing this information as a public service” said Perkins.

A unique opportunity to educate the community about colorectal cancer will happen at the Georgia Wing Fest on Saturday, March 15 at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds in Albany. The Giant Inflatable Colon will be displayed at Wing Fest compliments of Bayer Healthcare – Oncology. “The Giant Colon is 10 feet high and 20 feet long, and as you walk through you see what a normal colon looks like as well as polyps and cancer. It’s a fun and effective way to learn, and we hope the public will come to Wing Fest to see this interesting display,” said Cancer Coalition CEO Diane Fletcher. Wing Fest Event Director Rick Schneider announced that the Cancer Coalition will receive a portion of the Wing Fest proceeds. “We are proud to partner with the Cancer Coalition again this year and support their work in our local communities” he said. For more information about the event, visit

The Cancer Coalition of South Georgia is dedicated to fighting the high rates of cancer in this area. The Coalition’s staff and partners want to encourage adults to learn about screening for colorectal cancer. The message of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is simple: If you are a man or woman who is 50 years or older you should speak to your doctor about getting screened for colorectal cancer. Learn more about risk factors and the types of screening tests at

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