March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

All North Dakotans Older than 50 Encouraged to Get Screened for Colorectal Cancer

Governor Jack Dalrymple has proclaimed March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in North Dakota as part of a statewide effort to promote the importance of North Dakotans older than 50 getting screened for the disease.

“Colorectal cancer is the second most diagnosed cancer for men and women in North Dakota,” said Joyce Sayler, Comprehensive Cancer Prevention and Control Program coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health. “Increasing awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening is essential in reducing the number of North Dakotans diagnosed with and dying from this disease.”

The Department of Health offers these important points about colorectal cancer:

• If you’re 50 or older, see your doctor to get screened. For those with a family history of the disease, screening should begin earlier.

• Colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps don’t always cause symptoms.

• Colorectal cancer affects both women and men and all races and ethnicities.

• When cancer is found early, colorectal cancer treatment can be very effective and save lives.

• Many insurance plans help pay for screenings that can detect colorectal cancer.

“Colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable and beatable. Removing precancerous polyps can prevent cancer in the earliest stage, when over 90 percent of colorectal cancers can be cured,” said Dr. John Leitch, chair of the North Dakota Cancer Coalition. “Every North Dakotan 50 and older needs colorectal cancer screening.”

For information about colorectal cancer, contact Joyce Sayler, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.2596 or visit