Cancer is personal to almost every family, including mine. Each year, more than 50,000 families across the country lose a loved one to colorectal cancer – the fourth most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in America. The toll it exacts is immeasurable, but when we catch colorectal cancer early, we can save lives and bring hope. During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we are raising awareness about this dreaded disease and renewing our commitment to ending cancer as we know it.
Although anyone can get colorectal cancer, we know that this disease strikes at a disproportionate rate among black Americans as well as Americans over the age of 50. Regular screenings and identification of symptoms and risk factors are key to saving lives. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms such as blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, stomach pain, bloating, cramps that don’t go away, or weight loss with no known cause should be discussed with a healthcare professional. provider. However, the early stages of colorectal cancer often appear without symptoms, and it is important to start regular screenings from the age of 45.
Also, people who smoke, drink alcohol, or are obese are more likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Adopting healthy behaviors – including stopping the use of tobacco products, reducing alcohol intake, and eating meals that include fruits, vegetables and whole grains – may also lower your risk. . For more information on risk factors, please visit www.Cancer.gov.
I believe it is within our power to end cancer as we know it. That’s why I’ve relaunched the Cancer Moonshot and set ambitious new goals, to reduce the cancer death rate by 50% over the next 25 years and improve the lives of people and their families living with cancer and survivors. . I called on Congress to create the Advanced Research Projects for Health Agency (ARPA-H), which will invest billions of dollars to advance breakthroughs in the prevention, detection, and treatment of cancer and other deadly diseases. As we continue to pursue groundbreaking scientific breakthroughs, my administration also remains steadfast in our commitment to increase colorectal cancer screening, follow-up, and referral, with a particular focus on underserved populations. On February 2, 2022, the First Lady and I issued a call to action on cancer screening and early detection. Our goal is to jump-start progress on potentially life-saving screenings that far too many Americans have missed as a result of the pandemic and help ensure that everyone in the United States benefits equitably from the tools we have to detect and diagnose cancer. We call on every American to get back on track with their recommended screenings, including colorectal cancer screenings, and the public and private sectors to increase access to early detection for individuals and communities.
Ensuring that every American has access to affordable, quality health coverage is another critical way to win the fight against cancer. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans must cover certain preventive services at no cost. This coverage now includes colorectal cancer screening for adults over 45, making colorectal cancer screening easier and helping to improve access to earlier treatment. Health coverage under the Affordable Care Act has never been more accessible and affordable than it is today, and I encourage all Americans to learn more by visiting www.HealthCare.gov.
During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, I urge every American to be vigilant about their own health and that of their loved ones. Early diagnosis and treatment saves lives – and getting screened for colorectal cancer is vitally important as we pursue our shared mission to end cancer as we know it.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 2022 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. I encourage all citizens, government agencies, private businesses, non-profit organizations and other groups to join in activities that will increase colorectal cancer awareness and prevention.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed this
February twenty-eight of the year of grace two thousand and twenty-two, and of the independence of the United States of America on the two hundred and forty-six.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.