The Alliance's 25-Year Anniversary Logo
Press Release

Awareness Month Marks a Meaningful Milestone for the Alliance

The Alliance's 25-Year Anniversary Logo

Celebrating 25 Years of Lifesaving Work, the Alliance Accelerates its Efforts to Eradicate Colorectal Cancer 

In 2024, an estimated 152,810 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the U.S., and an estimated 53,010 will die — making this disease the second-leading cause of cancer death overall. New data from the American Cancer Society reveals colorectal cancer is now the leading cause of cancer related death among men under 50 and the second leading among women under 50. The disease has a 91% survival rate when caught early, yet 80% of 45-49 year olds are not getting screened, and even more (92%) of uninsured 45-49 year olds are not getting screened. The world’s leading nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the disease, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance (Alliance) is on a mission to reverse those trends by spreading prevention awareness and driving up screening rates. 

During March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and the 25th anniversary of its founding, the Alliance urges Americans to know their family history and learn more about risk factors, symptoms, and screening options: 

  • Risk factors include a family history of colorectal cancer, certain inherited genetic syndromes like Lynch syndrome, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Race can be a risk factor, too. Alaska Natives have the highest rate of colorectal cancer incidence and death, while Black Americans are 35% more likely to die from colorectal cancer and 15% more likely to develop it than non-Hispanic whites.
  • Symptoms to look for include a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, abdominal discomfort, weakness and/or fatigue, and unexplained weight loss. 
  • The Alliance offers a free, easy quiz at that provides a screening recommendation based on personal risk factors.

“Colorectal cancer can develop silently, without symptoms, until it is in the later stages of the disease, so it’s critical for people to start screening at the recommended age of 45 or sooner if they are at high risk,” said Dr. John Marshall, M.D., Alliance Medical Scientific Advisory Committee Member, Physician Executive Director, Medstar Washington D.C. Integrated Hematology Oncology Division, and Director, The Ruesch Center for the Cure of GI Cancer. “Screening can prevent colorectal cancer through the detection and removal of precancerous growths called polyps, before they have a chance to turn into cancer.”

Founded on March 18, 1999, the Alliance has been making an impact on colorectal cancer prevention, care, research, and advancements for the past 25 years. Some of its important work includes:  

  • Critical resources - for patients and caregivers, such as a toll-free helpline at 877-422-2030, free professional assistance via certified patient and family support navigators, financial assistance, peer support groups, and more. 
  • Health Equity Fund - to address disparities in healthcare and provide free lifesaving screening and care resources to communities most affected by this deadly disease.
  • BlueHQ - a unique online support hub that connects patients and caregivers with personalized resources, including useful tools to help navigate diagnosis and treatment for better outcomes.
  • Project Cure CRC - a transformational, multi-million dollar research funding initiative to end this disease in our lifetime by accelerating new CRC therapies and technologies.
  • Lead From Behind - the Alliance’s groundbreaking awareness campaign featuring celebrities reducing the stigma surrounding prevention awareness to encourage screening.
  • Walks and events - to spread awareness and bring supporters together nationwide. ScopeItOut Coast to Coast on Sunday, March 24, at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., includes a live, virtual broadcast for anyone across the nation to participate.

“Our mission since the beginning has been to see a world without colorectal cancer,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “While the Alliance has made many great strides over the past 25 years, we won’t stop working until we eradicate this disease.”

To learn more about the Alliance’s history and impact, or to get involved, visit its 25th anniversary timeline.

About the Colorectal Cancer Alliance
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance empowers a nation of passionate and determined allies to prevent, treat, and overcome colorectal cancer in their lives and communities. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Alliance advocates for prevention, magnifies support, and accelerates research. We are the largest national nonprofit dedicated to colorectal cancer, and we exist to end this disease in our lifetime. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Emily Blasi
(202) 971-9964 


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