Mars bleu – Thursday 14 March: Awareness day to promote early screening for colorectal cancer
Since 2006, March has been colorectal cancer awareness month, featuring a campaign to publicise the importance of early screening for the disease.
The campaign, which is supported by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and health professionals and delivered via the Princess Grace Hospital Screening Centre, brings together a number of stakeholders and affects everyone aged between 50 and 80.
The prognosis for colorectal cancer is heavily dependent on the stage at which it is diagnosed. This type of cancer can, to a certain extent, be prevented through early identification of precancerous lesions. Screening also allows for early treatment to be given if cancer is detected.
The national Mars bleu (Blue March) campaign therefore aims to raise public awareness of screening.
Simple and valuable screening
The OC Sensor test is a simple, quick and painless way to detect cancer early, reducing the need for much more invasive interventions. Screening kits can be provided by your normal doctor or by a specialist (gynaecologist, hepato-gastroenterologist).
The disease primarily affects people over 50, who are the main target of the awareness campaign in the Principality and neighbouring countries. It is a very common cancer, second only to lung cancer for men and to breast cancer for women, yet screening is available for the disease, even in the absence of symptoms.
This prevention and screening awareness campaign aims to encourage anyone who has concerns to ask for a colonoscopy: if they have a family history of the disease, if their bowel movements have become irregular, if they experience new intestinal pain or if blood appears in their stools.
Since 2016, of the 4,917 people who have taken the test in Monaco, 194 have received a positive result.
The Biology Laboratory at Princess Grace Hospital has been equipped with an automated system (OC SENSOR) specially designed to interpret immunology tests sent in by those who have undertaken them. The test results will be returned to patients by the Monaco Screening Centre, with a copy also sent to their normal doctor.
If you have any questions about colon cancer screening, please contact the Monaco Screening Centre on (+377) 97 98 83 02.
Monday–Thursday: 9 am to 5 pm
Friday: 9 am to 2 pm