House Concurrent Resolution No. 17




            WHEREAS, colon cancer is the second most common cancer in the United States, currently attacking 1 in 20 adults; and


            WHEREAS, approximately 145,000 new cases of colon cancer are diagnosed each year, with an estimated 50,000 of those diagnosed dying of the disease; and


            WHEREAS, with early detection by screening colonoscopy, this cancer is extremely preventable because it almost always begins as a polyp which presents in the colon for months or even years before actual cancer develops; and


            WHEREAS, it is estimated that as many as half of the people at risk for colon cancer, those age 50 and older, are not using the powerful tools now available to avoid dying of colon cancer or even prevent the disease; and


            WHEREAS, experts estimate the number of colon cancer deaths each year could potentially drop by 50% if all Americans 50 and older followed the American Cancer Society's colon cancer screening guidelines; and


            WHEREAS, sadly, less than 50% of colon cancers are currently found in the earliest and most treatable stage; and


            WHEREAS, colon cancer hits African Americans harder than any other ethic group in the United States, so regular screening is particularly important, with not only an increased risk for the disease, but are more likely to be diagnosed when cancer is advanced. African Americans are also more likely to die from colon cancer than any other ethnic group for reasons not yet completely clear; and


            WHEREAS, some women hold the dangerous belief that colon cancer is a man's disease, so they skip early detection tests. In reality, both men and women are equally at risk for colon cancer; and


            WHEREAS, public awareness to the risk factors and risk reduction measures that can be taken by persons most at risk will undoubtedly save thousands of lives each year:


            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-sixth General Assembly, Second Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby designate the week of March 25 to March 31, 2012, as "Colon Cancer Awareness Week" in Missouri; and


            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Assembly encourages and recommends that people of the State of Missouri observe Colon Cancer Awareness Week through activities which will increase awareness to colon cancer disease, its risk factors, and prevention and risk reduction measures which can be taken.