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A Letter to the President

Posted on December 16, 2013

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Today, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) sent a letter to President Barack Obama requesting he issue a presidential proclamation designating March 2014 National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. 146 members of Congress signed onto the letter in support of Rep. Payne, Jr.’s efforts.

Earlier this year, Rep. Payne, Jr. introduced House Resolution 69 designating March 2013 as National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Check out the letter to President Obama below & find out how you can get involved with turning your state blue.

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.

December 16, 2013

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Every March the colorectal cancer community honors those who are fighting or have lost their battle with colorectal cancer by holding special events to raise awareness about the disease, including symptoms, risk factors, and screening tests. We ask that you join us in spreading the message about colorectal cancer prevention and early detection by issuing a proclamation designating March 2014 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

Despite being one of the most preventable types of cancer, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women in the United States and costs our health care system approximately $14 billion annually. The lifetime risk of getting colorectal cancer is one in 20. This year, an estimated 135,000 individuals in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 individuals will die from the disease.

Colorectal cancer is largely preventable thanks to effective screening tools. Yet, one in three adults between the ages 50 and 75 are not up to date with recommended colorectal cancer screenings. Patients with localized colorectal cancer have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent, but only 39 percent of all diagnoses occur at this stage due, in part, to the underuse of screenings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if every individual aged 50 or older had regular screening tests, as many as 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. However, there is a great need to increase education and awareness about screenings.

Lack of education and awareness are the biggest barriers to reducing death and suffering from colorectal cancer. While more than 90 percent of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in those aged 50 and older, anyone at any age can get colorectal cancer. Knowing the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer is critical to an early diagnosis and timely medical intervention. Through education and awareness, we can erase the myths, stigma and embarrassment that are sometimes associated with colorectal cancer and screening, and we can remind the American public about healthy lifestyles that reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and other diseases.

Thank you for considering our request for a proclamation designating March 2014 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

 Sincerely,

Donald M. Payne, Jr.
Robert Andrews
Ron Barber
Karen Bass
Joyce Beatty
Dan Benishek
Sanford Bishop
Earl Blumenauer
Robert Brady
Susan Brooks
Corrine Brown
Julia Brownley
G.K. Butterfield
Lois Capps
Michael Capuano
Matthew Cartwright
Andre Carson
Kathy Castor
Jason Chaffetz
Donna Christensen
Yvette Clarke
William Lacy Clay
Emanuel Cleaver
James Clyburn
Howard Coble
Mike Coffman
Gerald Connolly
John Conyers
Jim Cooper
Joe Courtney
Ander Crenshaw
Joseph Crowley
Elijah Cummings
Donna Edwards
Keith Ellison
Elliot Engel
Sam Farr
Chaka Fattah
Michael Fitzpatrick
Lois Frankel
Rodney Frelinghuysen
Marcia Fudge
Danny Davis
Susan Davis
Peter DeFazio
Theodore Deutch
Rosa DeLauro
Charles Dent
Michael Doyle
Tulsi Gabbard
Sam Graves
Scott Garrett
Al Green
Raul Grijalva
Trey Gowdy
Luis Gutierrez
Alcee Hastings
Brian Higgins
Ruben Hinojosa
Michael Honda
Rush Holt
Steven Horsford
Steve Israel
Darrell Issa
Shelia Jackson Lee
Hakeem Jeffries
Eddie Bernice Johnson
William Keating
Robin Kelly
Joseph Kennedy
Daniel Kildee
Derek Kilmer
Ron Kind
Peter King
Ann Kuster
Raul Labrador
Leonard Lance
Barbara Lee
Sander Levin
John Lewis
Frank LoBiondo
Billy Long
Alan Lowenthal
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Daniel Maffei
Carolyn Maloney
Sean Maloney
Betty McCollum
James McGovern
Mark Meadows
Patrick Meehan
Gregory Meeks
Gwen Moore
James Moran
Patrick Murphy
Jerrold Nadler
Janet Napolitano
Richard Neal
Eleanor Holmes Norton
Frank Pallone
Bill Pascrell
Ed Perlmutter
Colin Peterson
Thomas Petri
Ted Poe
Jared Polis
Nick Rahall
Charles Rangel
Tom Rice
Cedric Richmond
David Roe
Dana Rohrabacher
Edward Royce
Jon Runyan
Bobby Rush
Linda Sanchez
James Sensenbrenner
Jose Serrano
Terri Sewell
Janice Schakowsky
Adam Schiff
Bobby Scott
David Scott
Albio Sires
Louise Slaughter
Chris Smith
Jackie Speier
Eric Swalwell
Mark Takano
Bennie Thompson
Glenn Thompson
Michael Thompson
John Tierney
Dina Titus
Paul Tonko
Niki Tsongas
Chris Van Hollen
JuanVargas
Marc Veasey
Filemon Vela
Nydia Velazquez
Jackie Walorski
Maxine Waters
Frederica Wilson
Ted Yoho
Don Young

15 Responses to “A Letter to the President”

  1. Laura Crews says:

    Thank you!

  2. Laura Crews says:

    Thank you for your support

  3. Susan C. Dawson says:

    Excellent…But don’ forget those who are under 50 that represent a growing population of new diagnosis every year… I am the mother of a young man who was diagnosed with Stage 3 at Age 29. I am in South Carolina…Count me in as a major crusader to turn Our Great State Blue!
    Let me know what I can do! mamasue.dawson@gmail.com

  4. kathleen grattini says:

    My mom passed away September 5, 2013 at the age of 68 of colon cancer. She was diagnosed in May 2009. It came and went 3 different times. She would be 69 March 1, 2014. I would love to become apart of this Alliance and do anything I can to help with awareness. My mom fought a good fight and her story should be heard by all. Not enough awareness is put on this form of cancer.

    Kathleen

  5. Doreen Kimble says:

    Go blue New York

  6. Patricia Sardinha says:

    My father unfortunately passed away from colon cancer almost 2 years ago now. I support this letter and feel that it is medically necessary to educate and provide earlier screening to prevent this from becoming a leading killer in the US. I think that designating a month each year would raise many funds and awareness across the country and then maybe somewhere a girl like myself wouldn’t have lost her father too young. Thank you.

  7. Joyce Haddix says:

    Stage 4 colorectal cancer at age 72. Doing well. I am now 77.

  8. Chris collins says:

    Thank you for writing this letter. I have stage 4 colon cancer so probably will not be here in 5 years, but it want to encourage the fight for education of others. I want to be the one who gets WA turned blue!

  9. Marcia Mullins says:

    Thank you for this, Congressman Payne.

    I am a Colorectal Cancer Survivor from Huntington, West Virginia.

    How disappointing it is that of West Virginia’s three Representatives, only Representative Nick Rahall signed this letter.

    West Virginia has the highest rate of incidence and death from Colorectal Cancer in the country.

    Awareness is key.

    Marcia Mullins
    Know More Colorectal Cancer
    “Knowledge Is Power”

  10. Lori Stanley says:

    Signing for my husband who at age 41 has stage 4 colon cancer metastasis to liver.

  11. Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.
    Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.

    December 16, 2013

    President Barack Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20500

    Dear Mr. President:

    Every March the colorectal cancer community honors those who are fighting or have lost their battle with colorectal cancer by holding special events to raise awareness about the disease, including symptoms, risk factors, and screening tests. We ask that you join us in spreading the message about colorectal cancer prevention and early detection by issuing a proclamation designating March 2014 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

    Despite being one of the most preventable types of cancer, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in men and women in the United States and costs our health care system approximately $14 billion annually. The lifetime risk of getting colorectal cancer is one in 20. This year, an estimated 135,000 individuals in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 individuals will die from the disease.

    Colorectal cancer is largely preventable thanks to effective screening tools. Yet, one in three adults between the ages 50 and 75 are not up to date with recommended colorectal cancer screenings. Patients with localized colorectal cancer have a five-year survival rate of 90 percent, but only 39 percent of all diagnoses occur at this stage due, in part, to the underuse of screenings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that if every individual aged 50 or older had regular screening tests, as many as 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. However, there is a great need to increase education and awareness about screenings.

    Lack of education and awareness are the biggest barriers to reducing death and suffering from colorectal cancer. While more than 90 percent of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in those aged 50 and older, anyone at any age can get colorectal cancer. Knowing the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer is critical to an early diagnosis and timely medical intervention. Through education and awareness, we can erase the myths, stigma and embarrassment that are sometimes associated with colorectal cancer and screening, and we can remind the American public about healthy lifestyles that reduce the risk of colorectal cancer and other diseases.

    Thank you for considering our request for a proclamation designating March 2014 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

  12. Zita Robinson says:

    A great way to bring out awareness

  13. as someone who had late stange colon cancer 4…..i can tell you the passion i have to end this diease….everyone keep on keeping on….bill

  14. Dana Gattling says:

    As a colorectal cancer survivor of 14 yrs., I am thankful and great full to be alive today and be apart of Colon Cancer Alliance as a member and advocate. It is a blessing, to have an organization that commits a life time devotion to finding new research, studies, treatments and ultimately a cure to end, this horriable disease.

  15. Dana Gattling says:

    Please as I stand as a survivor and advocate, I ask that you consider proclamating March 2014, Colon Cancer Awareness month. Thank you so very much !!!

    Respectfully Submitted,
    Dana Gattling

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