FULTON – When it comes to colorectal cancer, men are at higher risk for the disease than women. Every year, 4,600 men are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in New York state. Men are also more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage of the disease and are more likely to die from colorectal cancer. Every day in New York, four men die from colorectal cancer.
June is Men’s Health Month, and the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of the North Country is asking men to make a pledge to get screened for colorectal cancer. Regular screening is key to preventing colorectal cancer or finding it early when treatment works best.
Some risk factors that contribute to colorectal cancer, such as being overweight, obesity, smoking and drinking too much alcohol, are more common in men than women. Women also get recommended screenings more regularly than men. While colorectal cancer screening rates in New York have improved overall, data show that 30% of men who were due for screening did not get screened.
COVID-19 has caused many people to delay important health exams, but this one can’t be missed. Colorectal cancer does not always have symptoms in the early stages, so it’s important to screen before there are symptoms. If people have any symptoms, call a health care provider right away.
People ages 50 and older should be screened for colorectal cancer. Adults younger than age 50 should talk to their health care provider about their risk for colorectal cancer and when to start screening. If insurance is an issue, the CSP of the North Country may be able to provide free colorectal cancer screening to uninsured residents in Oswego, Lewis, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. If any follow-up testing is needed, the CSP will provide those tests too. If cancer is found, the program will help enroll people who are eligible in the NYS Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program for full Medicaid coverage during treatment.
Call the CSP of the North Country at 855-592-0830 for more information about services and programs.
The New York State Cancer Services Program (CSP) provides breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings and diagnostic services at no cost to adults 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).