COLUMBIA, SC – March 3, 2021 – Beginning today through March 12, the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion will be lit blue for the first time in honor of colorectal cancer awareness month.
In partnership with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and Colorectal Cancer Prevention Network (CCPN) at the University of South Carolina, the special designation by Gov. Henry McMaster comes amid the successful impact of South Carolina’s funding for colorectal cancer prevention and education programs -- and the important role such services play in addressing today’s pandemic-driven decrease in screenings.
While data continues to emerge on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer care, a recent analysis by ACS CAN found colon cancer screening dropped by 90% beginning in mid-March.
“Over the past year South Carolina has seen a dramatic drop in colorectal cancer screenings, making it more important than ever to raise awareness for cancer prevention,” said Governor Henry McMaster. “As Peggy and I light up the Governor’s Mansion to help raise awareness, we call on South Carolinians to speak with their providers about scheduling a screening of their own and to educate loved ones on this potentially life-saving appointment.”
Since 2008, the over $1 million in annual state funding has supported the efforts of organizations like the Colorectal Cancer Prevention Network to provide free, life-saving screenings and procedures to South Carolinians who are uninsured or underinsured.
Through statewide education and awareness, the health network has worked to address health disparities among the most at-risk populations, including Black men and women who experience the highest rate of colorectal cancer incidence and mortality.
Colorectal cancer is not only one of the most preventable forms of cancer, but one of the few cancers that can be completely prevented through screening. Nearly 2,570 South Carolinians are projected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year alone.
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.