Don't Wonder If You Have Colon Cancer, Know.

Know About Colorectal (colon) Cancer Screening and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to skip colorectal cancer screening. If you are due for colorectal cancer screening, do not wait. Call your health care provider to schedule your appointment or to get an at-home stool-based test as soon as you can. If you are having any symptoms of colorectal cancer, call your health care provider right away. Regular screening may prevent colorectal cancer or find it early when treatment works best.

Health care providers are taking steps so that important health visits can happen safely. All staff and patients must wear masks and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before going in the office. Equipment, exam rooms and dressing rooms are cleaned after each patient. Other safety steps may include socially distanced waiting rooms, on-line check in, and more time added between appointments.

Know Why You Should Get Screened

  • Colorectal cancer screening tests look for signs of cancer. Stool tests look for small amounts of blood that could come from cancer or growths (called polyps). Other tests (such as a colonoscopy) use a thin, flexible, lighted tube with a camera to look inside the colon and rectum to find polyps. The polyps can then be removed. Colorectal cancer can be prevented by removing polyps.
  • Regular screening is important because colorectal cancer and polyps don't always cause symptoms, especially in the early stages. Don't wait for symptoms to be screened for colorectal cancer.
  • If colorectal cancer is found early, treatment can be very effective.

Know When You Should Get Screened

  • If you are age 45 or older, you should get screened for colorectal cancer.
  • Adults younger than age 45 should talk to their health care provider about their risk for colorectal cancer and when to start screening. If you or someone in your family has had colorectal cancer or certain other conditions, you may need to start testing at an earlier age compared to other adults without such risk factors. Learn more about other risk factors and talk to your health care provider about when to begin screening.

Know Ways You Can Get Screened

  • There are several screening options, including easy take home tests.Talk to your health care provider about getting screened and choosing the test that's right for you.The best test is the test that you take!

Know Where To Go If You're Insured

If you have insurance, talk to your health care provider about where to go for screening. Colorectal cancer screening is a covered benefit in most health plans including:

A covered benefit means there is no cost to you, such as a copayment or coinsurance.

Know Where To Go If You're Uninsured

  • Free screenings are available. Call or visit the New York State Department of Health Cancer Services Program (CSP) at 1-866-442-CANCER (2262) for a free screening near you.
  • If the screening test finds something abnormal, diagnostic (testing) services are available through the CSP at no cost. If colorectal cancer is found, eligible people may be able to enroll in the NYS Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program to receive full Medicaid coverage for the entire time they are being treated for cancer.

To learn more about becoming insured, call 1-855-355-5777 or visit the New York State of Health (NYSOH) Marketplace. The NYSOH Marketplace is a place to shop for insurance that provides a comprehensive set of benefits and coverage. All of the insurance plans included in NYSOH cover breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screenings at no cost. There are many affordable plan choices, and you may qualify for tax credits to help you pay for your health insurance plan.

Know More About Colorectal Cancer