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Broome County Works to Kick Colorectal Cancer

By Kerry Longobucco.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. The American Cancer Society and local organizations are fighting back against the disease.

Six Broome County healthcare systems are making changes that will it more convenient for their employees to get screened for colorectal cancer. Workers will be afforded time off to get screened.

Colorectal screening is recommended for all adults age 50 and over.

Currently, 65.5 percent of adults in Broome County over the age of 50 are up to date with screenings, according to the American Cancer Society. Officials hope to see that number jump to 80 percent by 2018.

Doctors say colon cancer is highly preventable, and treatable when caught early. Screenings like the colonoscopy, are simple, easy -- and save lives.

"We can go in, and take a lighted camera, and put it in your large bowel, and see if there's those polyps, which are the predecessor of colon cancer," Dr. James Hayes, of United Health Services, said. "But, at the same time, we don't just know that they're there. We can take them out, so that they're not going to cause cancer in the future."

If you are uninsured or have a large co-pay, call the Cancer Services Program of Broome, Chenango & Tioga counties at 1-877-276-1019.