Initiative to substantially reduce colorectal cancer

Up to the Minute
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Binghamton, NY —The Cancer Services Program of the Southern Tier (CSP) and Broome County Health Department’s Community Cancer Prevention in Action (CPiA) teams join others across the State to support the 80% in Every Community initiative which aims to substantially reduce colorectal cancer, a major public health problem by increasing the screening rate for colorectal cancer to 80%.

This initiative will build on the tremendous success of the previous initiative, “80% by 2018,” launched by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable in March 2014.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in New York State. Each year, more than 9,000 New Yorkers get colorectal cancer and more than 3,000 die as a result. Yet, with recommended screening, the number of people who die from colorectal cancer could be lowered by at least 60%. 

According to the most recent data (2017), 70.1% of New York State adults ages 50 to 75 were screened for colorectal cancer. This is a slight increase from 68.5% in the previous year. Consistent across both reports is the fact that individuals without insurance and individuals without a health care provider are less likely to be screened than individuals with insurance and those who have a health care provider.  The data shows other opportunities to increase the screening rate are to focus on men and individuals in the 50-64 age range.

“The CSP stands ready in our community to join health clinics, health plans, employers, county government, and others to achieve an 80% screening rate or higher. While our main focus is to provide cancer screening services to the uninsured, we are excited to partner with organizations interested in implementing evidence-based practices to increase their screening rates and potentially save lives,” said Carrie Horton, Program Manager for the Southern Tier Cancer Services Program.

“Currently Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Schuyler, and Tioga counties have screened 70%, 67.3%, 67.6%, 64.3%, and 72.4% of eligible adults, respectively. There is a lot of room for improvement which can only come from working together to reach all people in need of screening.”

Screening is recommended for all men and women ages 50 to 75. Individuals with a personal or family history of colon polyps, colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer and should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested. 

Last year, New York State passed a civil service law for all governmental employees to receive paid time to get cancer screenings. This initiative allows for four hours of paid time to get cancer screenings without having to use sick or personal credits. Cancer screening time covers physical exams, laboratory and blood work for the detection of cancer. The purpose of this law is to help increase screening rates and increasing the number of cancers caught early.

“We encourage our community members to talk to their employers to find out if they have cancer screening benefits in their workplace. One of CPiA’s initiatives is to educate employers about the important role they can play by having a paid time off benefit for cancer screenings in the workplace. Early detection lowers costs, and finding cancer early can save lives. Organizations should consider implementing this benefit for the health and wellness of their employees and to join us in the fight to prevent cancer” said Mary McFadden, Program Manager for CPiA, “We hope combined efforts with CSP along with other community organizations will increase our colorectal cancer screening rates throughout the Southern Tier, and reach the 80% in Every Community goal”

The CSP of the Southern Tier offers colorectal cancer screening to people without insurance who qualify for the program. Call 607-778-3900 for more information.

The New York State Cancer Services Program (CSP) provides breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings and diagnostic services at no cost to women and men who live in New York State, do not have health insurance, have health insurance with a cost share that makes the cost of screening too high, and meet the program rules for age and income. To find a Cancer Services Program visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/
or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262). 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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