Opinion: Cancer is expensive and sometimes preventable, reports County Health Initiative
To the Editor:
Cancer-related costs are expensive and growing by the day. The cost of cancer treatment in the U.S. is projected to grow from $183 billion in 2015 to $246 billion in 2030, and cancer is now the top health care cost for many companies. Many of these costs could be avoided if we found cancer early when it is easier and less costly to treat. Better yet if we could prevent the cancer altogether.Cancer screening can prevent both cervical and colorectal cancer. Screening tests may find the cells that lead to cancer so they can be removed before cancer grows. In addition, the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine prevents most cervical cancers caused by HPV, as well as some other cancers.
Cervical cancer screening is recommended from age 21 to 65. The HPV vaccine is usually given to teens and preteens starting at age 11 or 12 but can be started at age 9. All people should be screened for colorectal beginning at age 45. For both cancers, getting screened regularly is the key to preventing cancer or finding it early when treatment works best.
The Cancer Prevention in Action program (CPiA) works to increase cervical and colorectal cancer screenings and HPV vaccination rates in our community. We help employers adopt paid time off policies for cancer screening and educate employees on the importance of getting screened. CPiA also educates health care providers, community organizations, parents, and young adults about the benefits of the HPV vaccine.
If you are an employer, health care provider or community-based organization, the CPiA program can provide education and strategies to help you prevent cancer. To learn more, call us at 315-261-4760, x.235.
CPiA Program Coordinator
St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, Inc.