Albany, NY - March 5, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed a proclamation declaring March 2014 Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in New York State and also reminded New Yorkers to get screened for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer—a covered benefit through Medicaid as well as health plans participating in the NY State of Health marketplace.
“This is a month where we want New Yorkers to consider getting a proactive screening for colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer, a crucial step that can help save lives,” Governor Cuomo said. "Our state has resources that make it easier for New Yorkers to get informed and get screened. I encourage everyone to spread the word during Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month to promote and protect the health of our state’s communities."
The Department of Health (DOH) Cancer Services Program offers colorectal, breast and cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured individuals in every county and New York City borough. Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women in the United States. Each year in New York State, more than 10,000 people develop colorectal cancer and more than 3,500 New Yorkers die from the disease.
New Yorkers at high risk, such as those with a personal or family history of colon polyps, colon cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease should talk to their physicians about the best time to begin screening and how often they should be tested. Individuals with symptoms associated with colorectal cancer such as blood in the stool, stomach pain with changes in bowel movements, or losing weight without trying should speak to their physician immediately. To find a local Cancer Services Program contractor near you, call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) or visit here.
To raise awareness about colorectal cancer and encourage screening, businesses, hospitals, and community leaders across New York State are participating in New York’s Main Streets Go Blue campaign. In partnership with the DOH Cancer Services Program, these individuals and organizations will share information with the public, decorate their shops and streets in blue, run “blue” sales and specials, and host colorectal cancer screening events throughout March.
State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah M.D., M.P.H. said, “Colorectal cancer can often be prevented. Regular screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they become cancer. In addition to regular screening, all New Yorkers, regardless of age, can reduce their risk for colorectal cancer by quitting smoking or never starting, maintaining a healthy diet, and increasing their physical activity.”
More information about colorectal cancer can be found on the DOH website or at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.
The Governor’s proclamation can be found here.