Opinion: Get screened for colorectal cancer
To the Editor:
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, a great time for employers to support colorectal cancer screening. Screening for colorectal cancer begins at age 45 for people at average risk. Screening can prevent colorectal cancer! Screening helps to find growths that can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early when it may be easier to treat. Colorectal cancer has a 91% survival rate when found early.Work and family life make it easy for cancer screening to fall to the bottom of the list. In addition, many people believe colorectal cancer is an older person’s disease, so they put off their screening. While it’s true that the risk for colorectal cancer increases as you get older, it’s also true that about 1 in 10 new colorectal cancer cases occurs in people under age 50 in the U.S.
If you are an employer, you can support the health of your employees. You can adopt paid time off benefits for cancer screening and educate staff about the importance of cancer screening. This benefit would allow employees to get screened for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer without having to use leave or sick time. Studies have shown that offering paid time off for cancer screening is cost effective.
The Cancer Prevention and Action Program (CPiA)* can help employers learn more about paid time off for cancer screening benefits and how to support employee cancer screening. To learn more, visit takeactionagainstcancer.com.
CPiA Program Coordinator
St. Lawrence Health Initiative