For my family, for the Vice President’s family, and for millions of families across our Nation, the fight against cancer is personal. Too many of us know the sinking feeling of shock and devastation when a loved one receives a diagnosis of cancer — too many of us know the unspeakable pain when the fight cannot be won. Each year, colorectal cancer claims more than 50,000 American lives, making it the second leading cause of cancer deaths in our Nation. National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to bring greater attention to this terrible disease and to offer what families living through it need most: hope.
In this battle, hope and awareness are intertwined. Because the risk of death from colorectal cancer drops dramatically when the cancer is caught early, we can save lives by calling attention to risk factors and increasing routine screening. This month is our chance to improve public understanding of colorectal cancer risk, inform people about screening recommendations, and set our sights on broadening prevention strategies, improving treatments, and finding a cure.