#DressInBlueNE and Take a Screening for Colorectal Awareness Month

March 4, 2021, 9:53 a.m. ·

According to the Colon Cancer Roundtable, 23 million Americans ages 50-75 are past due for colon cancer screening (Photo Courtesy Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force)

March is Colorectal Awareness Month in Nebraska and the Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force and the Nebraska Cancer Coalition encourage Nebraskans to dress in blue Friday to raise awareness of lifesaving colon cancer screenings. Sarah Fietz is vice president of the task force and said there were about 1.7 million missed colonoscopies last year due to the pandemic.

"And that's a huge number, especially in the state of Nebraska, where we already are below 80 percentile people getting screened for colonoscopies," she said. "And so what that means is more people are being diagnosed with later stage colon cancer, which has a poor prognosis long term."

Fietz said one in 23 men and one in 25 women will get colon cancer in their lifetime but it’s 100% preventable through a colonoscopy. She encourages everyone to take the screening.

"It's not nearly as bad as people think it's gonna be," she said. "The real bad thing is getting a colon cancer diagnosis, but getting a colonoscopy is nothing."

Fietz encourages Nebraskans to consult their doctors for a colonoscopy or visit their website to receive a free at-home fecal test kit. Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department is also offering free kits through their website.