Elmira, NY — March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Denise Argetsinger from Southern Tier Cancer Services Program is urging everyone to talk to their doctor about testing options for colorectal cancer, also referred to as colon cancer. With recommended screening, the number of people who die from colorectal cancer could be reduced by at least 60%.
When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it can often be cured. In some cases, screening can prevent the development of colorectal cancer by finding polyps (growths that can turn into cancer) so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Yet colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in New York State. Each year, more than 9,000 New Yorkers develop colorectal cancer and more than 3,000 die as a result.
“Colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms, especially at first, which is why regular screening is needed to catch the disease in its earliest stages,” says Argetsinger. “We want people to know there is more than one screening test for colorectal cancer and screening is easier than ever. The important thing to remember is to talk to your doctor, decide which screening test is right for you, and get screened. For anyone without a doctor or without insurance, the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of The Southern Tier, located at Chemung County Health Department can help!
All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer. Anyone with a personal or family history of colon polyps, colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, is at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These individuals should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested. In addition, men and women of any age with blood in their stool, weight loss without knowing why or a change in their bowel habits including aches and pains that do not go away should talk to their doctor.
The CSP of Chemung County which offers colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured individuals in every county in the state. To find a local Cancer Services Program near you, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/ or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262).
For individuals insured through Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health plans, including those participating in the New York State of Health, colorectal cancer screening are covered with no cost to the patient.
To learn more about screening options, visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/colorectal/screening.htm
“Colorectal Cancer is Preventable, Treatable, Beatable,” says Argetsinger but first you need to be screened, I can help! Call 607-873-1500.