As spring quickly approaches, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and National Nutrition Month are two important awareness efforts that are recognized in March. Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is a chance to educate yourself and others about colorectal cancer screening and prevention, while National Nutrition Month is a great time to “spring” into the new season with healthy eating habits and wellness practices.
Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
Colon cancer is not only the second ranked cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, but it can also affect both men and women [i]. The colon cancer awareness efforts in March aim to educate the population on the risks and symptoms of colon cancer, raise awareness, and debunk misconceptions about colon cancer [ii]. This national campaign is important because the risk of colorectal cancer increases significantly with age, especially in those over the age of 50, and the precancerous polyps can often be asymptomatic making screening instrumental in its detection [i]. How can you help raise awareness and educate others?
- Start by educating yourself! Learn about screening recommendations, prevention and more from the National Cancer Institute Website [iii].
- Determine which screening is best for you or your loved ones. Click here to take a quiz to determine your preferred screening method [iv].
- Host your own community event to raise awareness and educate others. Click here to learn more about hosting an event and to receive materials for your event [v].
- Encourage screening through your social media. Take a #StrongArmSelfie (a picture of yourself flexing your strong arm) and post it on your favorite social media platform to encourage screening for colorectal cancer. For each #StrongArmSelfie post, share or retweet $1 will be contributed towards efforts to fight colorectal cancer [vi].
National Nutrition Month
Celebrate healthy eating, physical activity and wellness this month during National Nutrition Month. The mission of National Nutrition Month is to promote health, wellness and disease prevention through healthful eating practices. Nutrition and eating habits can have an important influence on a person’s wellbeing and quality of life [vii]. How can you make healthy choices and encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle?
- Encourage participation in your community, school or family through coloring pages and handouts, which can be downloaded for free here [viii].
- Learn more about your daily calorie intake by getting your MyPlate Plan [ix].
- Are you an educator? Challenge yourself and your students! Participate in the National Nutrition Month Contest [x].
- Find your passion. Participate in your favorite physical activity multiple times each week, whether its walking with friends, swimming, workout classes, or recreational sports teams.
- Share your participation in #NationalNutritionMonth by posting on social media using the hashtag!
[i] Colorectal Cancer Awareness. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/resources/features/colorectalawareness/index.htm
[ii] March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from https://www.ccalliance.org/about/awareness-month
[iii] Colorectal Cancer Prevention (PDQ®)–Patient Version. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.gov/types/colorectal/patient/colorectal-prevention-pdq#_
[iv] Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from https://healthfinder.gov/NHO/MarchToolkit.aspx
[v] Raise Awareness. Retrieved from https://fightcolorectalcancer.org/join-fight/raise-awareness/
[vi] Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Retrieved from https://www.sgna.org/Connect/Colorectal-Cancer-Awareness-Month
[vii] National Nutrition Month. Retrieved from https://nutrition.org/national-nutrition-month/
[viii] National Nutrition Month. Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/resources/national-nutrition-month
[ix] Celebrate National Nutrition Month. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate.gov/national-nutrition-month
[x] National Nutrition Month. Retrieved from https://osse.dc.gov/page/national-nutrition-month