During National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Melania and I join all Americans in recognizing those battling colon and rectal cancer, and in remembering the friends, family members, and loved ones we have lost to these diseases. In their memory, we reaffirm our Nation’s commitment to making the world free from cancer.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2017, there were more than 135,000 new diagnoses and about 50,000 people in the United States who lost their lives to colorectal cancer. My Administration is working closely with Congress to ensure that the 21st Century Cures Act paves the way for new immunotherapy approaches, precision medicine, and other treatments that are more effective and comfortable for patients. Our efforts are ensuring that new cancer therapies, including the first ever gene therapies recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, can reach the market quickly, while ensuring patient safety. Thanks to improved treatment and prevention measures, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.
As we pray for those battling colorectal cancer and the families who have lost loved ones, we are reminded of the steps we can all take to reduce our risk of colorectal cancer. The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 22 for men, and 1 in 24 for women. I encourage all Americans to learn about their risk factors, helpful prevention methods, and the recommended guidelines for effective screening and early detection before the disease becomes difficult to treat. By knowing one’s family history, regularly talking to a doctor, and taking action to improve one’s diet and daily activity, every American can reduce his or her risk of developing this terrible disease.
Our Nation stands behind every American battling a diagnosis of colorectal cancer, and we thank the researchers, doctors, and other professionals who are working to improve the quality of life and outcomes for all cancer patients. With each medical breakthrough and every new survivor, we are getting even closer to a future free from the fear and threat of cancer.