FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
March 7, 2011 Contact: William Gerrish
Colorectal cancer third leading cause of cancer related deaths in Connecticut
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is joining the rest of the country in recognizing March as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to encourage people over the age of 50 to get screened for the disease.
“Most colorectal cancer cases are found in people over the age of 50,” stated DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Regular screening for colorectal cancer can help with early diagnosis, when treatment works best.”
According to state health officials, colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer diagnosed among Connecticut men and women and the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in the state. More than 90% of colorectal cancer cases are in people over the age of 50 years old, and health officials estimate that 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented with regular screening.
“While the benefits of early screening are well known, 30% of Connecticut residents over the age of 50 have never been screened for this disease,” stated Dr. Mullen.
To raise awareness and encourage colorectal cancer screening, DPH is conducting statewide and targeted education campaigns. Stay In The Game CT (www.StayInTheGameCT.com) is a web-based resource for information on colorectal cancer and cancer screenings. The website provides helpful tips about where and how people can get screened, what to expect at a screening, and other resources.
An education campaign in the greater Waterbury area complements the statewide campaign with advertising on public transit and community events. DPH plans to expand the targeted campaign to other areas in the state in the future.
No-cost colorectal cancer screenings are available to qualifying individuals at facilities throughout the state. For more information on colorectal cancer and screenings, please visit www.ct.gov/dph/colorectal or call (860) 509-7804.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state. To contact the department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.