Dana-Farber announces initiatives for Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in March

Posted date
  • Ibram X. Kendi is featured speaker in forum on his experience with colon cancer and its impact on his groundbreaking work on antiracism
  • Launch of “Gut Instincts,” a new series of educational workshops for clinicians, researchers, patients and supporters

The Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center is announcing new initiatives during Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in March.

Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined. The Black community is hit particularly hard, with incidence rates in Black individuals about 20% higher and mortality rates 40% higher compared with their non-Hispanic white counterparts.

In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in colorectal cancer rates among adults younger than 50 years old. In Americans aged 20-34, colon cancer rates are expected to increase 90% and rectal cancer rates are expected to increase 124% by the year 2030. These trends prompted the opening of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center, one of the first such centers nationally to focus on patient care, research and education in this age group.

“Since the launch of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at Dana-Farber in March 2019, we have made significant strides within patient care, research, and awareness,” said Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, the director of The Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center. “During the past year we have helped patients navigate the unique challenges to their care during the COVID-19 pandemic. We watched as the tragic loss of actor Chadwick Boseman gave rise to powerful public awareness of young-onset colorectal cancer and the importance of screening. Although there is still much to do, progress is happening every day, as evidenced by the recent draft recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force to lower the screening age to 45 from 50 years old. We remain as committed as ever to better understanding the underlying causes of young-onset colorectal cancer and leveraging that knowledge to discover new prevention and treatment strategies.”

Notable events during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month:

Beyond CRC Patient and Family Forum: Better Understanding of Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

  • Guest speaker Ibram X. Kendi kicks off this month-long series of free education events for individuals with young-onset colorectal cancer and their supporters. He will lead a virtual discussion on his experience with young-onset colon cancer and its impact on his groundbreaking work on antiracism: Hoping and Striving for an Antiracist Society While Living with Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Registration is required:


Gut Instincts

  • A new education series on young-onset colorectal cancer. The inaugural webinar, “Best Practices for Screening Young People,” is open to clinicians, researchers, patients and supporters. Moderated by Kimmie Ng, MD and featuring patient advocate Vanassa Sebastian, APRN, CRNA and internal medicine and gastroenterology experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Registration is required:


Dress in Blue Day March 5th

  • Patients, supporters and advocates will ‘Go Blue’ on March 5th, as part of nationwide #DressInBlueDay to further raise awareness about this disease
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute will mark the day by illuminating our Healing Garden in blue lights, visible in the evening from Brookline Ave. and Joslin Pl., Boston.

News Category
Inclusion, Diversity & Equity
Rectal Cancer
Colon Cancer

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