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One third of eligible New Yorkers are not up-to-date on colon cancer screening

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in New York, but only one third of adults who should be checked for the disease are up-to-date on screening.

March is National Colorectal Awareness Month. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (Excellus BCBS) recently conducted a review of 2020 health data that found 71.5% of adults are up-to-date on screenings, while 28.5% are not up-to-date or haven’t been screened at all, according to The Chronicle Express.

Over 9,000 new colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in New York each year. Roughly 3,000 New Yorkers die from colorectal cancer annually.

Some attribute the lack of screenings to people avoiding in-person health care visits out of fear of catching COVID-19. A December 2021 survey conducted by Excellus BCBS found 41% of those surveyed reported avoiding in-person health care visits. Still, screenings can be vital in identifying colorectal cancer before it progresses.

For those weary of in-person visits, some at-home screening options are available. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends average-risk adults between 45 and 75 years old get screened for colorectal cancer. You can find more facts and information on the American Cancer Society website.