Five tips for telling your colorectal cancer story

Storytelling is a powerful tool that can inspire those around you to get screened for colorectal cancer, talk with family members about their medical histories, and learn about colorectal cancer symptoms.

One of the greatest hurdles we face in our mission to end colorectal cancer is the stigma attached to this disease. Talking about colorectal cancer reduces that stigma and saves lives.

So you want to tell your story? Great! You’re unsure about how to start? We can help with that. Here are five tips for telling your colorectal cancer story:

1. Start small. 
If the idea of sharing your story is intimidating, start by telling one person you know. Practice makes perfect and it can be hard at first. Even just sharing a snippet on social media can help you get comfortable and spread awareness.

2. Know your goal. 
Do you want your audience to get screened? Do you want them to become advocates, too? When you are clear on your goal, knowing what parts of your story to share becomes easier.

3. Think challenge, choice, outcome. 
Most people could name a dozen challenges they faced during their journeys! Focus on one to meet your goal. Did you persist in the face of misdiagnosis, advocate to get on a clinical trial, or find ways to replenish while caregiving a loved one? How you faced the challenge and how you feel about the outcome is what teaches the world about your values and your hopes for them.

4. Vulnerability takes strength. 
Forget "never let them see you sweat." Being honest about the hard stuff helps people connect with you and really take in your message. An audience is drawn to respect and listen to someone who is being courageous for the good of others.

5. It just takes one. 
If your story reaches just one person whose screening prevents cancer or helps one ally find us when they need us most, you will have made a difference. Taking the power back from cancer by becoming an advocate can really change your life, too.

Would you like to volunteer for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and help raise awareness in your community? Click here to learn more.


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