FULTON, NY – Colorectal cancer, cancer that begins in the colon or rectum, is one of the most common cancers among New Yorkers.
It is estimated that one in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
“Each year in New York State, more than 10,000 people develop cancer of the colon and rectum, and nearly 3,500 New Yorkers die from this disease,” said Carolyn Handville, coordinator of the Cancer Services Program of Oswego County.
Colorectal cancer often can be prevented.
Regular screening can find pre-cancerous polyps so they can be removed before they become cancer.
However, a large number of New Yorkers are still not aware of their risk and many do not get screening when they should.
All New Yorkers, regardless of age, can also reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by quitting smoking or never starting, maintaining a healthy diet and increasing their physical activity.
All men and women ages 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer.
“Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over age 50. People with a personal or family history of colon polyps (abnormal growths in the colon or rectum) or colon cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, are at higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These people may need earlier or more frequent tests than other people and should talk to their doctors about when to begin screening and how often they should be tested,” said Handville.
The New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Programs offer colorectal cancer screening to eligible uninsured women and men in every county and borough in New York State.
Screening is also fully covered by Medicaid and all health plans that participate in the New York State of Health.
To find a CSP you, or to learn more about Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month events in your area, call at 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) or visit http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/
Additional information about colorectal cancer can be found at the Department’s website http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/colorectal/ or at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at: www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/