Colon cancer screening is available and important

Do you see your mechanic more than your doctor? Do you do a great job maintaining your lawn mower, your snow blower and your car? Well now it’s time for a little self-maintenance.

June is Men’s Health Month. What a perfect time to take control of your health by getting screened for colon cancer. Colon cancer (also called colorectal cancer) screening can find cancer early, when treatment may work better and, in some cases, can prevent colon cancer from beginning altogether. If you are 50 years old or older, you should be screened for colon cancer.

Worried about the screening test? Getting screened is actually very simple. The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is an easy-to-do screening kit that is done in the privacy of your own home.

If you are 50 to 64 and do not have health insurance, you may be eligible for a free FIT kit through the Cancer Services Program of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties.

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

Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in New York state. Every year, almost 9,000 people are diagnosed with colon cancer in NYS and more than 3,000 people die from this disease.

To learn more and to see if you are eligible for a free screening, please call (518) 841-3726 for more information.

LESLEY MONTENARO

Health education and promotion coordinator for the Cancer Services Program

Amsterdam