March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month. William Mattar law offices have joined with the Cancer Services Program (CSP) to spread awareness about colon cancer, providing information regarding vital screening tests and diagnostic services available to the community.

Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, is the third most diagnosed cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Here are more facts about colon cancer:

  • Colon cancer is preventable!
  • Screening tests can find colon cancer early when treatment works best. If colon cancer is found early, treatment can be very effective.
  • A colon cancer screening involves checking the colon and rectum for cancer before there are symptoms or problems.
  • People of all racial and ethnic groups can get colorectal cancer.
  • Although colorectal cancer can be hereditary, 90 percent or more of the people diagnosed have no family history.

What are the Screening Tests for Colon Cancer?

All people ages 50-75 should be screened for colon cancer. However, high-risk men and women may need to start screening earlier. High risk is determined by family or personal history of colon cancer and/or other conditions. Screening tests for colorectal cancer include:

  • Take-home stool tests
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

Take-home stool tests are an easy and effective way to get screened. The CSPs in our communities offer free colon cancer screenings for eligible, uninsured New York residents.

What are the Early Warning Signs Of Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer may not cause any symptoms! Often, there are not any symptoms, which is why regular screening is so important. In later stages of colon cancer, some symptoms may include:

  • A persistent change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea, constipation, and/or a change in the consistency of your stool;
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool;
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas, or pain;
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely;
  • Weakness or fatigue; and
  • Unexplained weight loss.

What is the Cancer Services Program?

The Cancer Services Program (CSP) provides breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings and diagnostic services at NO COST to people who:

  • Live in New York State;
  • Do not have health insurance or have health insurance with a cost-share that may prevent a person from obtaining screening and/or diagnostic services;
  • Meet income eligibility requirements; and
  • Meet age requirements.

What Cancer Screening Services Does The CSP Offer?

  • Colorectal cancer screening
  • Mammograms
  • Breasts exams
  • Cervical cancer screening

* Eligibility determined by NYSDOH guidelines.

Where Are These Screening Services Provided?

Services are provided in local clinics, health centers, doctors’ offices, and hospitals in every county and borough in New York State by health care providers who participate in the CSP.

Contact your local Cancer Services Program for information, education, and resources:

CSP Erie County
(716) 858-7376
www.cspwny.org

CSP of the Finger Lakes Region
Serving: Monroe, Livingston, Wayne, Ontario, Seneca and Yates Counties.
(585) 224-3070
https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/community-health/community-programs/cancer-services-program.aspx

CSP of Onondaga County
(315) 435-3653
http://www.ongov.net/health/cancerscreening.html

CSP of the Greater Capital Region
Serving: Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties
(518) 525-8680
https://www.sphp.com/find-a-service-or-specialty/cancer/cancer-screening/cancer-services-program

CSP of Steuben, Allegany, Cattaraugus & Chautauqua
(607)-385-3935
toll free-877-778-6857
https://steubencsp.com/

CSP of Genesee, Orleans Wyoming & Niagara Counties 
(716) 278-4898
https://www.facebook.com/CSPGO/

CSP of Nassau County
(718) 470-4165

CSP of Suffolk County
(631) 548-6320

To find the CSP nearest you providing breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening, diagnostic services, and referral to treatment and support —call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) or visit https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/. The call is free, and operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to connect you to a CSP near you. Hablamos español. Translation services for other languages are available as well.