About this campaign
Colorectal cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer but it doesn’t have to be. Screening can prevent the cancer or catch it early when it’s highly treatable. But only 59 percent of Oregonians are getting screened compared to 80.5 percent for breast cancer screening and 81.7 percent for cervical cancer screening.
To combat this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) awarded a grant to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to increase colorectal cancer screening rates among Oregonians age 45 to 75 to 80 percent in five years.
First, OHA conducted research to determine Oregonians’ attitudes and behaviors toward colorectal cancer screening. The research found that people are most likely to get screened if they are encouraged by someone they know and trust, particularly people who have already been screened and doctors. Based on that core finding, the campaign is taking a unique approach to a colorectal cancer screening campaign by asking already screened Oregonians to talk about their experience and encourage others to get screened too. It also works with provider networks and hospital systems in equipping doctors to not only strongly recommend screening to their patients but to encourage already screened patients to share their story.
The Statewide Campaign
The statewide campaign is now underway. In addition to raising screening rates among all Oregonians, the campaign seeks to decrease disparities related to colorectal cancer in specific communities. We are working with partners in African American, Native American and Spanish-speaking communities where there is a higher rate of colorectal cancer diagnoses and deaths.
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Having a colonoscopy saved my life or at a minimum has prolonged it. Two weeks after turning 50 I had a colonoscopy because it is recommended at this milestone age. I had no family history of colon cancer and had no symptoms. (I know the importance of cancer screenings because my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer after an annual mammogram). The screening revealed stage 4 colon cancer. I started chemo therapy right way, then had surgery to remove all the cancerous lesions and am cancer free today. If I had waited even a few months, my treatment options and outcome would have been much different. SCREENINGS SAVE LIVES! Unlucky for me, my cancer started growing before age 50 but if you are over 50 OR have a family history of colon cancer OR you are having any symptoms, GO GET SCREENED and encourage your loved ones to do it too!