March Is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

A Wyoming Department of Health program is promoting colorectal cancer screening for certain Wyoming residents and providing free colonoscopies for some of them who otherwise might not be able to afford the procedure. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in Wyoming and affects both men and women. Most colon cancer cases begin as benign, pre-cancerous polyps; removing polyps early can prevent colon cancer.

The Wyoming Colorectal Cancer Screening Program recommends every Wyoming resident, age 50 or older, get a colonoscopy.  The program also helps those who cannot afford it or without insurance coverage for the screening procedure by paying for colonoscopy costs for residents who qualify based on age, income and residency.

Cheyenne resident Neil Hyatt had a colonoscopy paid for through the program last fall. Cancerous polyps were found as a result.

Since the start of the program in 2007, it has processed more than 1,500 applications and reimbursed providers for more than 1,000 colonoscopies for Wyoming residents.  Of the colorectal cancer screenings completed so far, polyps were removed in 45 percent of patients screened and cancers were identified in 25 patients.

For more information about qualifying for a free colonoscopy, please contact Alice Preheim at 1-866-205-5292 or alice.preheim@health.wyo.gov.  An online application is also available at https://ccedp.health.wyo.gov

First Northern Bank
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