Fight goes on against colon cancer

Local organizations are making a difference to prevent colon cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States among men and women combined, yet it’s one of the most preventable cancers.

Colon cancer claims nearly 3,500 lives each year in New York, and more than 10,000 people are diagnosed with the disease annually.

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) — an organization co-founded by the American Cancer Society and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — has gathered pledges from 1,000 organizations committed to increasing the national colon cancer screening rate to 80 percent by the year 2018, and New York state is leading the nation in number of pledges.

The “80 percent by 2018” initiative kicked off in 2014 and calls on organizations to commit to substantially reducing colon cancer, a major public health problem for those 50 and older.

If the goal of 80 percent by 2018 is achieved in New York, almost 15,000 cases of colon cancer and nearly 11,000 colon cancer deaths would be prevented by 2030.

Approximately one in four New Yorkers age 50 to 75 years old (more than one million people) are not up-to-date with colon cancer screening. Through screening, cancer can be caught early or even prevented.

Studies show that giving time off to your employees specifically for cancer screenings increases screening rates and makes good business sense.

An employee diagnosed with cancer costs more than $1,600 a year in lost productivity. You may realize a healthier workforce and reduce spending on worker compensation and disability costs, replacement costs for ill or injured employees who are absent, and recruitment and training costs for new employees.

The Cancer Services Program of Fulton, Montgomery and Schenectady counties is working in the community to educate local businesses on the importance of paid time off policies for cancer screenings.

If you would like more information, please contact the Cancer Services Program locally at 518-841-3726 or in other areas call 1-866-442-2262.


Program Manager

Cancer Services Program,


By Patricia Older

Leave a Reply