March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The good news is that in the last decade there has been unprecedented progress in reducing colorectal cancer incidence and death rates in the U.S. in both men and women annually. These improvements are the result of cancer prevention and early diagnosis through screening and better treatment modalities.
“Despite this encouraging news, there is still much to do,” said Steven R. Peikin, MD, FACG, AGAF, Head of the Division of Gastroenterology at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. “The incidence of colorectal cancer is increasing in those under 50; and remains the fourth most frequently diagnosed cancer overall and the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.”
Unlike some other cancers, colorectal cancer is one of only a few cancers that can be prevented through screening.
“Through proper colorectal cancer screening, doctors can find and remove hidden growths (called “polyps”) in the colon, before they become cancerous. Removing polyps can prevent cancer altogether,” said Steven J. McClane, MD, FACS, FASCR, Head of the Division of Colorectal Surgery at Cooper.
MD Anderson Cooper is committed to a strong and healthy community. As part of our cancer prevention and early detection efforts, the cancer center provides free cancer outreach, education, and screening services to uninsured men and women residing in Camden County, New Jersey, for colorectal cancer as well as for breast, cervical, and prostate cancer. The MD Anderson Cooper Cancer Outreach and Screening Program is part of the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) Program, which is funded by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.
The available services include: Diagnostic testing for screening participants with abnormalities, educational programs for the community, patient navigation services for persons with abnormal results, one-on-one counseling and case management services as needed, transportation assistance, emotional support, follow-up care post-diagnosis, and treatment for those diagnosed with a malignancy.
To be eligible for the free clinical screening services for colorectal cancer, individuals must be 50 and older or under 50 who have a family history, AND must have an income of no more than 250 percent above the poverty level.
For more information on this program or to make an appointment, please call 856.968.7308 or 856.968.7825.