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WHEREAS, colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States, and currently there is no cure; and
WHEREAS, symptoms include a change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, persistent abdominal discomfort, weakness and fatigue, and unexplained weight loss; and
WHEREAS, many people with colorectal cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease; and
WHEREAS, in 2014, 139,992 individuals in the United States were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, including 73,396 men and 66,596 women, and 51,651 individuals died from colorectal cancer; and
WHEREAS, colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates are highest in African-American men and women; and
WHEREAS, the survival rate of individuals who have early stage colorectal cancer is 90 percent, but is only 14 percent when diagnosed after it has spread to other organs; and
WHEREAS, the rates of new colorectal cancer cases and deaths among adults aged 50 years or older are decreasing in the United States due to an increase in regular screenings; and
WHEREAS, the national goal established by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable is that 80 percent of Americans ages 50 and older be screened by the year 2018; and
WHEREAS, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity to offer education on the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer and the importance of early detection and screening;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 2018 as COLORECTAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.