MAYVILLE, N.Y.: — March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
and the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services is urging
everyone to talk to their doctor about testing options for colorectal cancer,
also referred to as colon cancer. With recommended screening, the number of
people who die from colorectal cancer could be reduced by at least 60
When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it can
often be cured. In some cases, screening can prevent the development of colorectal cancer by finding polyps (growths that can turn into cancer) so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Yet colorectal cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death in New York State. Each year, more than 9,000 New Yorkers develop colorectal cancer and more than 3,000 die as a result. On average, Chautauqua County accounts for 76 new cases of colorectal cancer, and 29 deaths each year.
“Colorectal cancer may not cause symptoms, especially at
first, which is why regular screening is needed to catch the disease in its
earliest stages,” said Christine Schuyler, Director of Health and Human
Services. “We want people to know there is more than one screening test for
colorectal cancer and screening is easier than ever. The important thing to remember is to talk to
your doctor, decide which screening test is right for you, and get
screened. For anyone without a doctor or
without insurance, the Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Chautauqua County can
All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for
colorectal cancer. Anyone with a personal or family history of colon polyps,
colorectal cancer, or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, is at
higher risk for developing colorectal cancer. These individuals should talk to their doctors about when to begin
screening and how often they should be tested. In addition, men and women of
any age with blood in their stool, weight loss without knowing why or a change
in their bowel habits including aches and pains that do not go away should talk
to their doctor.
For individuals insured through Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial health plans, including those participating in the New York State of Health, colorectal cancer screening is covered with no cost to the patient.
To learn more about screening options, visit
The CSP of Chautauqua County offers colorectal, breast and
cervical cancer screening to eligible uninsured individuals. To find a local
Cancer Services Program near you, visit
http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cancer/services/community_resources/ or call 1-866-442-CANCER (2262).