Colorectal cancer screening: 45 is the new 50

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March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of the Central Region is pleased to share that we now offer free colorectal cancer screening at age 45, instead of 50.

This change is in response to updated national recommendations for screening made last May.

Data show that among New Yorkers ages 50 to 75 about 30% are not up to dat,e with colorectal cancer screening. Those who do not have insurance are even further behind with about one-half not up to date with colorectal screening. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to delay colorectal and other cancer screenings.

Regular screening for colorectal cancer can save lives. Screening tests can find growths that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early when treatment may work best.

I would like to ask all adults to talk to their health care providers about their risk for colorectal cancer and when to start screening. If you do not have insurance or health care provider, call the CSP at 1-888-345-0225. We can help determine if you are eligible for a free screening.

— Rebecca Hess, Utica, public education specialist,
Cancer Services Program of the Central Region
 

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