Although 90-percent preventable, colorectal (colon) cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death affecting both men and women. “Colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable with early detection,” said Greg McAuliffe, Chief Medical Officer for SLV Health.

Colonoscopies Save Lives

According to the Colon Cancer alliance, a routine colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50 could help save thousands of lives in this country every year by finding and removing polyps before they have a chance to turn into cancer, or detecting colon cancer in its early stages when treatment is most effective. Under the new healthcare law, getting screened has never been easier.  All insurance plans now cover preventive services, like colorectal cancer screenings.  Screenings are covered under Medicare and Medicaid, and for the uninsured, no cost screening may be available.

Local Program Offers Financial Support

SLV Health has teamed up with the Colorado Colorectal Screening Program (CCSP) to provide free screenings. The CCSP is a statewide program, coordinated through the University of Colorado Cancer Center, that partners with healthcare providers to provide no cost colorectal screening to the underserved. To be eligible for the grant patients must: meet Colorado identity and citizenship verification criteria; have no health insurance or have an insurance plan that does not cover any cost for these screenings; meet income requirements; and, be 50 and older or under 50 with personal or family history of colon cancer. For more information about the grant, call SLV Health Patient Navigator at 719-587-6319. “I want to urge all men and women, particularly age 50 and older, to get screened,” said Dr. McAuliffe. “Different screening options are available to detect colorectal cancer early. Talk to your healthcare provider about which option is best for you.”

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