March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and it's the perfect time to put a spotlight on this disease. According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, it is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women combined in the United States and it is also the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the U.S.

They estimate that in 2022, there will be 151,030 people diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer and 52,580 people will die from the disease. Sadly, the disease can strike at any time and has been impacting younger people at an increased rate. In fact, rates for people under 50 have increased 2.2% each year.

Personally, I lost a dear friend to this disease despite her best efforts to fight. Janelle was in her 40's when she passed. As she bravely fought, she was adamant about her friends and family getting screened for the disease as recommended by our doctors and also not to hesitate getting screened early if there was family history of the disease or any symptoms appeared.

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In order to support colon cancer education and awareness, the City Of Duluth will be lighting Enger Tower blue for five days this week, beginning Tuesday, March 18. They made the announcement on their official Facebook page.

The City adds that over 200 landmarks across the United States will be lit Tuesday in blue to support over one million colorectal cancer survivors as a part of Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

They would also like to thank Anna Dahlgren, a local colon cancer survivor, for her "tenacity and passion for educating the public about this disease."

Screening (testing for colorectal cancer) is the No. 1 way you can prevent colon cancer and rectal cancer.

Experts say that with screening, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are also highly treatable if caught early. That’s why on-time screening is essential and lifesaving. Screening should begin at age 45.

Enger Tower in Duluth will continue to be lit blue through Saturday, March 12.

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