NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- StopColonCancerNow.com achieved its goal of screening 1,000 "first-timers" for colon cancer on the first National Colon Cancer Screening Day on Thursday, March 8, 2012. As part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, National Colon Cancer Screening Day was created to urge all first-time patients to complete or schedule a colonoscopy on March 8, and that goal has been exceeded. More than 1,000 patients accepted the challenge and were screened for colon cancer by StopColonCancerNow.com affiliated physicians. StopColonCancerNow.com physicians perform approximately 1 in 10 screening colonoscopies in the nation, so the organization's sincere hope is that the number of screenings and appointments scheduled in the United States was ten-fold on National Colon Cancer Screening Day. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine provides what researchers are calling the best evidence yet that colonoscopies prevent people from dying from colon cancer. The study shows that the colon cancer death rate was cut by more than half in those who had a colonoscopy. "Almost 40 percent of Americans at risk for colon cancer are not getting screened, and we must change that," said Dr. John Popp, Medical Advisor, StopColonCancerNow.com. "We believe our first National Screening Day is a strong step in the right direction. And while we have promoted this one day for screenings, our larger mission is to make every day a 'national screening day' in hopes of saving more lives." Those who are at a higher risk for colon cancer include: anyone over the age of 50, African- Americans who are 45 years of age and over and those who have a family history of polyps or colon cancer. A colonoscopy allows doctors to find and remove precancerous polyps before they develop into cancer, making a colonoscopy the only test that allows both diagnosis and treatment at the same time. Colonoscopy can also find cancer at its earliest stage, when treatment works best.