What is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month?

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. We’d like to take the opportunity to share information with you about colorectal cancer (or bowel cancer) in the hope that by raising awareness we can continue to reduce the number of people impacted by this type of cancer.

What is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month?

National Colorectal Cancer Month raises awareness for colorectal cancer, commonly known as bowel cancer. Colorectal Cancer Awareness month is an opportunity to learn more about this type of cancer and to share information including stories of those impacted by colorectal cancer. It’s also a time to support organisations, such as ACRF, working to equip researchers with the tools they need to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer.

What is Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is caused by the mutation of genes that cause cells in the large intestine to reproduce abnormally and form polyps. Most bowel polyps are not cancerous, but some polyps may become cancerous if left to grow into tumours. Colorectal cancer is also referred to as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where it is found in the intestine. 

Colorectal cancer most commonly develops in the lower part of the descending colon, the sigmoid colon or rectum. More than 95 per cent of colorectal cancers are adenocarcinomas, cancers that start in cells forming the mucus-making glands that lubricate the colon and rectum. Other rare types include squamous cell cancers, Gastrointestinal stromal tumours, carcinoid tumours, sarcomas and lymphomas.

Colorectal Cancer facts In Australia

Colorectal Cancer is estimated to be the second most diagnosed type of cancer for both men and women and the third most common cause of death from cancer. It was estimated that over 15,000 Australians would be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2020.

When is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month?

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in the US and in Australia, June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month.

How to create colorectal cancer awareness

Getting involved in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month gives everyone the opportunity to make a difference. You can:

  • Wear a blue ribbon and encourage conversations about colorectal cancer.
  • Talk to family and friends about the realities of colorectal cancer, clearing up myths along the way.
  • Get tested regularly and encourage others to get tested too.
  • Post and share information about colorectal cancer on social media.
  • Support research into improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer, including colorectal cancer.

There are many ways to support the work of ACRF and together, with everyone’s input, we will achieve our goal to outsmart cancer. For more information on how you can support colorectal cancer research, learn how you can get involved with ACRF.

What is the Colorectal cancer awareness colour?

Blue is the colour for colorectal cancer awareness. Supporters are encouraged to wear blue clothes and/or blue ribbons to help spread awareness.

ACRF’s contribution to Colorectal cancer research

ACRF has partnered with several research institutes on initiatives to develop better prevention, earlier detection and more effective treatments for colorectal cancer. Some of these research initiatives include:

  • ACRF Centre for Integrated Cancer Systems Biology in South Australia. This state-of-the-art facility is utilising next generation technologies to transform patient outcomes through the delivery of targeted and personalised cancer therapy for a number of types of cancer including colorectal cancer.
  •  ACRF Breakthrough Technologies Laboratory to advance new treatments for many of Australia’s most common, and most deadly cancers, including colorectal cancer.
  • ACRF Centre for Therapeutic Target Discovery, potentially forming a scientific cornerstone of the first comprehensive cancer centre established in Australia. The centre created an innovative Australian-first collaborative and integrated cancer research centre, where clinicians, diagnosing and treating cancer patients, work closely with scientists researching the disease.