Will you wear something blue tomorrow? If not a whole outfit, perhaps a blue blouse, a pair of blue earrings or a blue bracelet? Why, you ask? Because Friday, March 2 is the Colon Cancer Alliance’s annual Dress in Blue Day, designed to raise awareness for colon cancer. It’s also a major kickoff for National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month during March.
As women, we’re all aware of the dangers of breast cancer. Many of us have donated money, walked in marches, and worn pink during the month of October. But colon cancer? Not so much. Once we reach the age of 40, we’re pretty good about getting our yearly mammograms. But when we reach the age of 50, we’re a lot less pro-active about getting our first colonoscopy. Believe me, I know all too well.
Some longtime AAR readers and staff know my personal history with these diseases. But if you’re new to AAR, or don’t know, I should say that I’m a survivor of both breast cancer (nearly 12 years) and colon cancer (3 years next month). So I really have nothing against the efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer. I’m just hoping for a little more awareness for colon cancer.
It may seem like a silly thing, to wear something blue for one day. In fact, I used to think it was silly to wear pink; never did it on a regular basis until this past October when I decided to wear pink every day. I don’t own a lot of pink clothing, so most days I just wore some pink jewelry.
A funny thing happened in October. I found myself touching that pink jewelry each day more than I ever normally touch my jewelry. And when I did, I found myself thinking about breast cancer a bit more. And yes, I then found myself actually looking for more information on the web about breast cancer, and having conversations with people about breast cancer awareness month. At the end of the month, when I took off my pink bracelet for the last time, I felt a bit more empowered and knowledgeable.
So you can bet that during March I will be wearing something blue, be it a sweater, a blouse, a suit, or a piece of jewelry, each and every day. And I’m going to make it my personal mission to tell some of my friends and colleagues just why I’m wearing blue.
Now many people think of colon cancer as an old person’s disease. After all, 50 is the age generally recommended for your first colonoscopy. But if your 50th birthday is a long way off, what about your parents, your aunts and uncles, or your grandparents? Raising awareness might just help them as well. Want to know more about colon cancer for yourself or your loved ones? Some excellent information can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and at the American Cancer Society.
Will you wear something blue?