80% by 2018–Fighting Cancer by Increasing Colon Cancer Screenings–Blog by Deb Krause, Vice President Minnesota Health Action Group and Past Chair, American Cancer Society Minnesota State Leadership Board

Since 2000, March has been designated as “Colon Cancer Awareness Month.” To drive measurable increases in screenings and reduce deaths due to colon cancer, the American Cancer Society introduced the “80% by 2018” initiative.

It’s a national effort to raise colon cancer screening rates to 80% by 2018. Health care providers and individuals play a role in improving screening rates, but there is also an important role for employers as well.

Colon Cancer is preventable and treatable—but only if you know you have it

Here are some facts:

“As an organization that specializes in providing answers, we know that colon cancer is preventable and treatable when it’s found early,” said Rick Long, President and CEO of Center for Diagnostic Imaging. “That’s why CDI is pleased to join the Minnesota Health Action Group and the American Cancer Society in increasing awareness of recommended health screenings.”

Employers are uniquely positioned to break down barriers to screenings

It begins with understanding: how many employees/dependents are 50 or older? how many are up-to-date in screening? Some employers have been surprised to learn that it is not as high as they might have expected and falls well short of the 80% goal.

Armed with this information, here are ways employers can break down the barriers to screenings:

Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers prevented through screening, and screening can also find the disease early when it is most treatable. The good news is that we can do better!

Recommended reading and learning opportunities:

Deb Krause is Vice President of Minnesota Health Action Group and 2018 chair of the American Cancer Society’s Minnesota/Dakota Area Board.

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