In New York City (NYC), colorectal cancer is the second deadliest cancer, killing approximately 1,400 New Yorkers each year. Fortunately, with the recommended screening, colon cancer is often preventable and can be detected early, when colon cancer is most curable. Many times there are no signs or symptoms of potentially pre-cancerous colon polyps or early colon cancers. This is why getting screened BEFORE you have signs or symptoms is so important.
Currently, the NYC screening rate for colon cancer is 69%.* This is much lower than breast and cervical cancer screening rates. Please spread the word about the importance of getting a routine colonoscopy screening for men and women who are 50 years of age and older!
* Source: NYC DOHMH Community Health Survey 2011 data measuring colonoscopy screening rates
Watch compelling testimonials to see what New Yorkers are saying about their colonoscopy screening experience:
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"Colorectal cancer" occurs in the colon or rectum, but is often referred to as just "colon cancer." Most colon cancers begin as one or more small growths, called adenomatous polyps, which over time can turn into cancer. Colon cancer affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups. Knowing the risk factors for colon cancer can help you make decisions about when to see a doctor or how to lower your risks.
Medical Risk Factors
- Being 50 years old or older
- Having a personal or family history of colon polyps or cancer
- Having a personal or family history of a genetic colon cancer syndrome, such as FAP or HNPCC
- Having a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
When should I get screened?
New York City colon cancer screening guidelines recommends that:
- Men and women who are at average risk for colon cancer should start screening at age 50 years, with a colonoscopy.
- Annual high-sensitivity FOBT should be recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to have a colonoscopy.
- People who have certain risk factors—such as a personal or family history of colon polyps or cancer; a personal or family history of a hereditary cancer syndrome; or a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease--are at higher risk and should talk to their doctor about starting screening at a younger age.
What is a colonoscopy?
Although there are other screening test, a colonoscopy can examine the entire colon effectively and prevent cancer by removing precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum —before they become cancer.
During the colonoscopy exam, a doctor will look inside of the colon using a bendable, lighted tube that has a camera on the end. If growths are found, they can be removed right away. The exam lasts about 30 minutes. It is usually repeated every ten years if the test is normal.More information:
For more information on "Colonoscopy," click here.
Other screening tests:
For more information on other screening tests, click here.
Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Polyps and early colon cancers often cause no symptoms. This is why getting screened BEFORE symptoms occur is so important. If there are signs or symptoms, they could include:
- Blood in your stool
- Stomach pain or cramps that happen without reason
- Changes in bowel habits
- Losing weight and not knowing why
- Feeling weak and tired
- Feeling that you need to have a bowel movement after having one
You may have these signs or symptoms, but it may not be cancer. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, please see your doctor for an evaluation.
Where can I get a colonoscopy?
- Visit the New York State Department of Health directory: click here
- Call 311
- Visit a New York City public hospital to get a colonoscopy at little or no cost. Call for an appointment.
Jacobi Medical Center
1400 Pelham Parkway South
Bronx, New York 10461
Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center
234 East 149th Street
Bronx, New York 10451
North Central Bronx Hospital
3424 Kossuth Avenue
Bronx, New York 10467
Coney Island Hospital
2601 Ocean Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11235
Kings County Hospital Center
451 Clarkson Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11203
Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center
Brooklyn, New York 11206
Bellevue Hospital Center
462 First Avenue
New York, New York 10016
Harlem Hospital Center
506 Lenox Avenue
New York, New York 10037
Metropolitan Hospital Center
1901 First Avenue
New York, New York 10029
Elmhurst Hospital Center
Elmhurst, New York 11373
Queens Hospital Center
82-70 164th Street
Jamaica, New York 11432
Colonoscopy referral to
Coney Island Hospital
Media partners play an important role in spreading the lifesaving mission of HHC. Thank you to WWRL 1600 AM for providing us with air time and online space in support of our colon cancer campaign. Tune into the station, or listen to the PSA here.