Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer

Notice to Readers: National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month --- March 2000

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States (1). In 2000, approximately 130,000 cases of the disease will be diagnosed, and more than 56,000 deaths will be attributed to this cancer (1). Randomized controlled trials show that screening by fecal occult blood testing can decrease the death rate of this disease by as much as 30%, and prospective observational data suggest that endoscopic removal of premalignant polyps can decrease the incidence 75% to 90% (2,3). Because screening is effective in reducing morbidity and mortality from colorectal cancer, a number of professional societies, government agencies, and voluntary health organizations recommend screening for colorectal cancer for persons aged >50 years (4). Despite recommendations for screening, research indicates that many who are at risk for colorectal cancer are not being screened (5).

Because of the impact of colorectal cancer on the nation's health, the U.S. Senate declared March 2000 as the first National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The purpose of this designation is to increase public awareness about the disease burden associated with colorectal cancer and to encourage people aged >50 years to reduce their risk for colorectal cancer through regular screening examinations. Additional information about the month, special events, and resource materials are available on the World-Wide Web at* Information on CDC's national colorectal cancer action campaign Screen for Life is available at


  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer facts and figures, 2000. Atlanta, Georgia: American Cancer Society, 2000; publication no. 5008.00.
  2. Mandel JS, Bond JH, Church TR, et al. Reducing mortality from colorectal cancer by screening for fecal occult blood: Minnesota Colon Cancer Control Study. N Engl J Med 1993;328:1365--71.
  3. Winawer SJ, Zauber AG, Ho MN, et al. Prevention of colorectal cancer by colonoscopic polypectomy: The National Polyp Study Workgroup. N Engl J Med 1993;329:1977--81.
  4. Winawer SJ, Fletcher RH, Miller L, et al. Colorectal cancer screening: clinical guidelines and rationale. Gastroenterology 1997;112:594--642.
  5. CDC. Screening for colorectal cancer---United States, 1997. MMWR 1999;48:116--21.

* References to sites of non-CDC organizations on the World-Wide Web are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Page converted: 3/16/2000


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A


Department of Health
and Human Services

This page last reviewed 5/2/01