In observance of National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the Baltimore County Department of Health wants to remind residents that early detection can save a life.
Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum, and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Colorectal cancer primarily affects people aged 50 years or older. For men, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after prostate cancer and lung cancer. For women, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer after breast cancer and lung cancer.
Screening can find precancerous polyps, which are abnormal growths in the colon or rectum, so that they can be removed before turning into cancer. If everyone aged 50 years or older were screened regularly, as many as 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented, according to the health department.
Assistance is available to Baltimore County residents who do not have health insurance for colon cancer screening services, are age 50 to 64 and have limited income. Assistance may be available to county residents who have health insurance, but have high out-of-pocket expenses for colon cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment services, are age 50 to 64 and have limited income.
If you are 50 or older (younger if at increased risk), you should be screened for colon cancer.
To find out if you are eligible for free screening services or have questions about colon cancer screening, call 410-887-3456.
–Baltimore County Health Department