On Tuesday, March 7th, the City of La Crosse is joining communities nationwide to recognize March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.  Mayo Clinic La Crosse, the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and Thrivent are going blue and Westby Highschool and the Chaseberg Soleburner are doing events on Wednesday, March 8th

According to Linda DeGarmo, an ACS volunteer from Chaseberg, “We light landmarks blue and dress in blue to show support for the men and women who have been diagnosed with this disease, but also to raise awareness about the potential to prevent colon and rectal cancers”.

Sarah Siefkes from Thrivent explained that “Our colleague, Heath, was a man that was dedicated to serving his family and community.  So when he joined our Thrivent family and our mission to serve our clients and society by guiding both to be wise with money and live generously, it was a seamless transition. It is our honor to participate in the Go Blue campaign, in Heath’s memory, to help educate our clients and the greater community on the importance of colorectal cancer screening.”

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer death when men and women are combined.

DeGarmo added “If you’re age 45 or older you should start getting screened for colorectal cancer.”

Screening tests can find colon cancer early, when it is easier to treat.  There are multiple tests including some that can be done in the privacy of your own home.  Some tests can find precancerous growths that can be removed preventing cancer. 

DeGarmo added. “When more people are screened there are fewer new cases and fewer deaths.”

Other Key Colon Cancer Statistics:

·       The American Cancer society estimates that over 2600 new cases will be diagnosed in Wisconsin in 2023.

·       The American Cancer Society estimates that 880 deaths in Wisconsin in 2023

·       The Wisconsin state colorectal screening rate of 55% 2021 means that nearly half of men and women in our state are not up-to-date.

·       Fewer colon or rectal cancers are being diagnosed since the mid-1980s due to screening and changes in diet, physical activity and other risk factors like smoking and alcohol use

  A list of landmarks, public spaces, health care facilities, and other businesses confirmed to date is available at ColonCancerCoalition.org/BlueForCRC.