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Letter: Fighting colorectal cancer



Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. That’s why routine colonoscopies starting at age 50 are critical. Yet one in three Americans aged 50 to 75 are not getting screened as recommended.

March is Colorectal Cancer Month, and I want to thank the entire New Hampshire delegation to Congress for supporting lifesaving legislation to improve colorectal cancer screening rates.

Colorectal cancer will kill roughly 190 Granite Staters this year and is the second leading cause of cancer death in the country. But many of these deaths could be prevented if people had access to and received the recommended screening. People with private insurance don’t pay co-pays for colonoscopies, but Medicare patients can pay a lot out of pocket if a polyp is found and removed during a routine colonoscopy. That’s because of a loophole that classifies their procedure as diagnostic.

Congress is considering the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act that would fix this barrier. As an American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer, I’m grateful to Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen and Reps. Frank Guinta and Ann McLane Kuster for supporting this bill that will help senior citizens have better access to colorectal cancer screenings that can save their lives.

JOSH CROWELL

Concord