Smoking often causes colorectal cancer to reappear in patients who have recovered, according to new research at the University of Ohio that followed up on 1,872 patients. This was disclosed by the Israel Cancer Association (ICA), which declared March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month and is running a number of related activities. A toll-free number is open at 1-800-599-995 to provide information on early diagnosis of colorectal cancer, which is most common among people over the age of 50. Early diagnosis can bring about a 90 percent cure rate. Around the world, over half a million people die of this cancer each year. Last year in Israel, it was diagnosed in 3,234 men and women, of whom 1,289 died. It can be detected early with tests for signs of blood in stools and confirmed by colonoscopy. Colonoscopy is recommended once per decade after the age of 50 in people of normal risk and more frequently in people at higher risk, for instance, due to family or personal history of colorectal and precancerous polyps. A new ICA survey has found that 77 percent of the public would ask for an early examination for the discovery of colon cancer. About 30% of the public knew someone who had been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The recently published University of Ohio study also found that colorectal cancer is more than three times more common in smokers than in nonsmokers, and that smokers who get it have many more small malignant tumors in the large intestine because of toxic ingredients in cigarettes.