Tag Archive for: awareness

By Vanessa Seidner

The Colon Cancer Foundation and the 2024 Early-Age Onset Colorectal Cancer (EAO-CRC) Chair, Dr. Cathy Eng of the Young Adult Cancer Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, will be hosting the 8th Annual EAO-CRC Summit in Nashville, Tennessee, which will provide the grounds for discussions about the latest technological and medical advances, how to build community, and about what actions can be taken at various levels to address the rise in EAO-CRC. 

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer among men and women. This cancer occurs more often in the older population, yet there has been a rapid rise in CRC incidence among young people. Early-Age Onset (EAO) CRC refers to cases of colon or rectal cancer that occur in people under the age of 50 years. There has been an annual increase in these cases of approximately 2% since 2011.

Some of the best ways to prevent CRC or avoid unfavorable outcomes include on-time screening (starting at age 45 years – earlier if there are symptoms or family history), knowing the risk factors and family history, and consulting medical professionals when potential symptoms arise. One of the most effective ways to increase awareness of these solutions is through health education.

How Can We Encourage Health Education on EAO-CRC for College Students?

There are several opportunities to host educational events. The implementation of peer educators in colleges and universities is a cost-effective approach that allows students to impart valuable knowledge to their peers about meaningful and healthy lifestyle changes. While health outlooks differ, health education can be tailored to specific audiences to increase the likelihood that someone can reach and maintain their concept of optimal health. 

Health education events can appear as presentations, panels, tabling, and expositions. 

  • Presentations
      • Longer, more information-dense messaging
        • Can incorporate interactive questions and activities and pre/post surveys that allow participants to think critically about what they have learned and about how they will apply it to their lives moving forward. Information pamphlets and giveaways can also bolster interactivity. 
      • Key takeaways: Elaborate and in-depth, allows for active participation, and allows for future action to be taken.
  • Panels
      • Question and answer sessions. These can allow for an increased sense of closeness.
        • Panelists can provide a variety of perspectives germane to their topic
        • They can share anecdotes and experiences – personal, occupational, or both 
        • Specific contact information can be provided in case an audience member wishes to reach out to a panelist.
      • Key takeaways: Allows sharing of diverse viewpoints, opportunity for an open dialogue 
  • Tabling Events 
    • Drop-by event; can give quick overviews
    • Opportunity to share information pamphlets and giveaways
    • Can host activities to engage visitors in discussion and have giveaways
    • Key takeaways: Cost- and time-effective, succinct, and engaging – tabling events are a popular health education method                                                                                                   

Colleges and universities can host one or more of these events to increase awareness on risk factors, symptoms, the need to consult a medical professional if symptoms occur, and the importance of regular screening. As for timing, it is best to do so on days where there are not as many classes, in populous areas, and during a time of day when there is a higher influx of people, such as around a mealtime or when a certain timeblock for classes commonly ends. 

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Consider a tabling event with information about the disease and with some free merchandise. Students can also be encouraged to wear dark blue to increase awareness of CRC.

Reach out to us at info@coloncancerfoundation.org if you would like to partner on an information event in March or any other time!


Vanessa Seidner is a Colorectal Cancer Prevention Intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.

Photo Source: Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

By Parker Lynch

Image credit: Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

Every year, The Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force holds a bike ride event called the “Rollin’ to Colon” to raise money and awareness towards colon cancer research within the state of Nebraska. This year, the 15th annual event was held on the morning of June 11th, and was open to riders of all experience levels and ages. 

Ten, twenty, thirty, and 53-mile routes were available to the public as well as virtual riders, who wanted to contribute to the cause from their stationary bikes at home. Every year, all proceeds from the event go towards bringing awareness to colon cancer prevention and early detection.

Fundraising for CRC: Why is it Important?

This organization is one of many that host fantastic events to support the colorectal cancer (CRC) cause. Despite the numerous array of fundraising endeavors that already exist, more can always be done to support the continuous research and development behind CRC preventative measures as well as treatment options for patients. When someone hosts a fundraiser for CRC, they are not just making monetary contributions, they are raising awareness, and in turn, saving lives. 

According to Marcline St-Germain, the operations manager for the Colon Cancer Foundation (CCF), “It’s not just about raising money. We are letting our community know about colon cancer, and that it’s not just an old man’s disease. In fact, many young people don’t know that they’re at risk themselves, and this is something that we are trying to change through fundraising events. Through these events, we’re trying to teach the community that CRC still exists, and people need to be aware of it.” 

The CCF gets creative when coming up with ways to bring CRC awareness to communities all across the U.S. The Rollin’ Colon, a pink, 20-foot long inflatable tunnel, is used as a fun and educational visual that provides important health information to those who experience it. While “walking through the colon”, people are able to learn about the signs and symptoms of CRC; they will see giant polyps, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and the different stages of CRC. Organizations are able to request The Rollin’ Colon, which will then be shipped to them to have at their own events and/or fundraisers.

CCF also hosts the Colon Cancer Challenge, an annual event in March (perfectly lining up with Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month). This challenge gives individuals the opportunity to run/walk a 5K or walk a mile. The funds raised through this challenge are used to support CRC prevention through various measures: supporting advocacy efforts, public awareness, research, and screening.

Whether it be on an individual or company-wide level, anyone has the opportunity to start their own fundraiser to support CCF. Regardless of whether or not one has a personal connection to the colorectal community, fundraising endeavors are vital to keeping the mission alive; they are also fun, collaborative events that bring communities and people together. These fundraisers that are held for CCF as well as the donations that individuals make (regardless of how large or small they may be), have an immense impacts on the CRC community. Not only do they support the patients and their families, but they give CCF the opportunity to continue to spread preventative awareness through educational endeavors, such as sending out The Rollin’ Colon to other events.

According to Ms. St.-Germain, “Fundraising is the backbone of our foundation. Without fundraising we wouldn’t be here.”

Donate to CCF today! 

Parker Lynch is a Colorectal Cancer Prevention Intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.

Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to spread important information at unprecedented speed. Many users of TikTok, the short-form video app that has taken the world by storm, have utilized the platform to share their experiences with colonoscopy screenings. Users upload “vlogs” (video blogs) to the platform that document their entire experience in detail and talk to their audience throughout the process. While this may seem like oversharing, the authentic nature of these vlogs has grown popular on TikTok, as videos that do well on the platform often contain genuine and unfiltered content. 

One example of this is @lucindabinney‘s three-part video series:


Colonoscopy Vloggy Part 1 🧻🧻🧻 #colonoscopy #gutissues

♬ Just a Cloud Away – Pharrell Williams



Colonoscopy Prep Part 2 🧻🧻🧻 #colonoscopy #gutissues

♬ original sound – lucinda



Colonoscopy Part 3 🧻🧻🚽🚽 #colonoscopy #guthealth #gutissues

♬ original sound – lucinda

Lucinda Binney walks her audience through her experience with colonoscopy prep in a humorous, unfiltered manner that is popular among many lifestyle influencers. She details her experience with a liquid diet (she includes jello) and the standard practice of taking laxatives to prepare her colon for screening. Through this three-part vlog, she demystifies this screening procedure for her 340,000 followers, coming clean about both her anxiety surrounding the experience and her surprise that the laxative drink didn’t taste as bad as she thought. 

While it is uncommon for people in their 20s to receive colonoscopies, as the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend them until age 45 (a recent change from the previous age 50 guideline), individuals at high risk for colorectal cancer (CRC) may benefit from receiving a screening. CRC rates in the younger population have risen dramatically in the past two decades, with incidence jumping from 2.7 people per 100,000 in the year 2000 to 5.0 per 100,000 in 2019 in the 15-to-39 age group. While these incidence rates are still not high enough to warrant routine screenings in the general young adult population, they help make the case for increased screenings among those at higher-risk. 

Haddon Pantel, MD, of Yale Medicine recommends that people in their 20s and 30s seek CRC screening if they experience any sudden changes in bowel movements, rectal bleeding, or any weight loss, abdominal pain, or appetite changes that are not otherwise explained. For more information about the signs of CRC, check out this resource

Emma Edwards is a Colon Cancer Prevention Intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.