Get the Message Out During Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Over 50,000 Americans are expected to die from colorectal cancer in 2024. This makes colon cancer the third leading cause of cancer-related death in men (and fourth in women). What makes these numbers particularly tragic is that colon cancer can often be successfully treated–but early detection is key to a good prognosis. That’s why Colon Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to getting one simple message: talk to your doctor about colorectal cancer screening today.

While this messaging often comes from nationwide institutions, there is a role to play on a local level as well. After all, most patients tend to trust their local providers (and providers, likewise, have spent time nurturing relationships with patients). 

Which means during Colon Cancer Awareness Month, your healthcare organization, clinic, or hospital system, can make a positive contribution to your community by raising awareness and saving lives.

The Role of Marketing in Getting the Word Out

When you want to honor the mission of Colon Cancer Awareness Month and help get the word out, it’s important to know that you don’t have to start from scratch. You already have a resource that is dedicated to connecting to and communicating with patients: Your marketing strategy.

After all, a great marketing strategy is creating personal connections between your messaging and your patients. This messaging may even already be somewhat personalized to improve the effect. This same marketing infrastructure can be used to remind your patients of just how important colon cancer screening can be.

Possible Marketing Initiatives

As you use your marketing strategies to get the word out during Colon Cancer Awareness Month (or during the rest of the year, too), you might consider which particular initiatives are the most effective. Some of the possibilities include the following:

  • Social media awareness campaigns: You may think that social media is too ephemeral to be effective. But research suggests that social media is a very successful way to deliver a health awareness campaign.
  • Consider boosting posts on social media: This is especially true if your social media post links to an educational blog or resource about screening and why it might be important. In other words–you can boost valuable resources that can help patients connect to the screening they need.
  • Send an email blast to current patients: It’s never a bad time to remind patients that they might need a screening (and give them an easy way to schedule an appointment). These email blasts are a very low-stakes, low-cost way of delivering that message right to patients.
  • Send an email blast to your general marketing list: You never know who might be in need of a reminder, so sending an awareness email to everyone can’t hurt!
  • Film a PSA: You can record your own physicians, surgeons, or nurses talking about how important it is to get screened. People might trust a PSA from the healthcare team they already know more than unaffiliated information on the internet.
  • Use patient testimonials: Highlighting a patient’s experience (especially if it’s a good one) can help other patients see how colon cancer screenings can literally save lives.

You can also be creative! Talk to your team about new ways to get this message out–because it’s a very important message!

Does the Tone Have to be…Serious?

Colon cancer is a very serious topic–especially for anyone fighting this particular disease. But the goal of colon cancer awareness is to encourage action. You want patients to make an appointment when needed. A serious tone can be effective–but it’s not the only tool in your persuasion toolbox. 

Which means that your message of persuasion can also use humor. In 2022, actor Ryan Reynolds documented his colonoscopy. Originally, Reynolds’ aim was likely humor (he lost a bet), but the colonoscopy removed a benign polyp–the kind of polyp that can eventually turn into cancer. According to the physicians involved, this colonoscopy likely saved Reynolds’ life. 

Since this event, Reynolds has become an icon for colon cancer awareness–and his unique brand of humor has helped broach the topic for many who would otherwise ignore it. 

Get the Message Out

The goal of colon cancer awareness month is simple: raise awareness of colon cancer in order to save lives. Here at PatientX, we have seen how important this can be first hand. Everyone on our team knows someone who has been saved by early detection. 

That makes Colon Cancer Awareness Month a pretty personal and important one around here. When we work together to get the message out, we can make sure patients are aware of the benefits of screening–and save some lives.

POSTED ON: February 27, 2024
By Kimberly Winkleman | Healthcare
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About the Author:

As the COO of PatientX, Kimberly wears many hats. She’s a delegator, a doer, a cheerleader, and a cracker of whips, but what sets her apart is her achieving, go-getter spirit. Kimberly is heavily involved in nearly every project PatientX undertakes, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. As a proud maximizer, she relishes the daily opportunity to help her team members and clients perform at their highest level. Throughout her sixteen-year career, Kimberly has served as an Executive Director for two non-profits while also running two campaigns in South Dakota, and she has experience in all facets of public relations, marketing, executive management, leadership development, public speaking, and event planning. Her love of people and helping others succeed is apparent in her work at PatientX and throughout her life and career.