Office for the Aging


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Every year, more than 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it.

With awareness comes smart decision making. Have you been screened for colorectal cancer?

"One of the phenomenal benefits available to Medicare beneficiaries as a result of the Affordable Care Act are the wellness, screening and prevention benefits." said Greg Olsen, Acting Director of the New York State Office for the Aging. "In addition to highlighting March as Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, there are many other benefits Medicare beneficiaries can receive to improve their health by identifying potential problems much earlier. Our agency website has a very easy to read Quick Reference Guide that can provide information on all the benefits available to you to improve your health."

It's important! If you're 50 years old or older, getting a screening test for colorectal cancer could save your life. More than 90% of cases occur in people who are 50 years old or older. The statistics suggest that if everyone aged 50 years old or older were screened, colectoral cancer deaths could be reduced by 60%.

Fortunately, Medicare and many insurance plans help pay for colorectal cancer screening. If you are a Medicare beneficiary age 50 or older at normal or high risk of developing colorectal cancer, there are no copayments, coinsurance or deductibles for the screening. If you have private insurance, check with your plan to find out which tests are covered for you.

To find out about Medicare coverage, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or click on the reference guide.

For information about how to get Health Insurance Information and Assistance visit the HIICAP program section of this web site.

For more information about colectoral cancer, please visit the CDC website.(External Link)