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 50 to 75 (45 for African Americans) 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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Your Stories

For five years my husband’s doctor told him to schedule a colonoscopy, yet he always had a reason to put it off.  Finally, after a lot of urging on my part, he had a colonoscopy two years ago.

The procedure was routine and went well, and then the doctor called me into the procedure room and told me that my husband had a large tumor almost surrounding the sigmoid area of the colon and he needed surgery to remove it immediately. The doctors were able to find the tumor before it spread to any lymph nodes and my husband has had a full recovery. If he hadn’t gone in for his colonoscopy, he probably wouldn’t be with me today.

Colonoscopies save lives. To lose someone to this cancer when it can be identified early is awful and this screening helps our loved ones know about their cancer risks and treatment options early.

Renee Menkens – Roseburg


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