|22 February 2024
The White House Proclaims March 2023 National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
28 February 2023
The White House is calling attention to the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America — by proclaiming March 2023 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
In remembrance of every life cut short by this devastating disease, the Administration states it is determined to end cancer as we know it by sharing information about risk factors, promoting life-saving early screenings, and improving access to affordable treatment.
According to the CDC, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. More people are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at younger ages (younger than age 55) and with more advanced cases. African American people are 20% more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more likely to die from the disease.
As a result, the Biden Administration has implemented several initiatives and policies to combat cancer and help patients and families, including:
- Cancer Moonshot 2.0, which aims to cut the Nation’s cancer death rate in half in the next 25 years while better supporting patients and caregivers
- The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to develop bold breakthroughs in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer and other deadly diseases
- Expanding the Affordable Care Act to require insurers to pay for cancer screenings and primary care visits and to cover cancer survivors and others who have preexisting conditions
- Capping costs for prescription drugs — including life-saving cancer medicines — for seniors on Medicare at $2,000 per year through the Inflation Reduction Act
- Working with the private sector to bring cancer screenings to more communities; develop and test new treatments; and share data
- Promoting cancer prevention and healthy diets
President Biden states that “our country needs to do more to help patients and families navigate the cancer care system. We need to learn from patients’ experiences, and we need to share data and knowledge to help prevent other families from encountering the same obstacles to prevention and care. When it comes to colorectal cancer, we must also focus our efforts on those most likely to develop this disease, including Americans over the age of 45; Black Americans; people with a family history of colorectal cancer; and people who smoke, consume alcohol, or are obese.”
March is a time for us to highlight this disease and the importance of colorectal cancer screening. Screening saves lives. It is recommended that all Americans who are older than 45 or have other risk factors get regular screenings for colorectal cancer.
National Minority Quality Forum is a research and educational organization dedicated to ensuring that high-risk racial and ethnic populations and communities receive optimal health care. This nonprofit, nonpartisan organization integrates data and expertise in support of initiatives to eliminate health disparities.