Funding For Cancer Screenings Is Needed

To The Reader’s Forum:

I learned I had colon cancer 27 years ago. Fortunately with screening and treatment, I have been given another chance to live life to its fullest. But my heart is still heavy. My son Michael wasn’t as fortunate. Colon cancer took his life in 2013.

Nearly 8,500 New Yorkers will learn this year they have colorectal cancer. I know the news can be devastating but I also know it is critical to get colorectal cancer screening. In fact a screening test may prevent colorectal cancer.

As a colorectal cancer survivor, it shocks me that our state reduced funding for the program that provides colorectal cancer screenings for those that can least afford it. The New York Cancer Services Program provides life-saving cancer screenings including colorectal screenings for uninsured and underinsured patients, yet the state cut this lifesaving program by over $5 million this year.

I was pleased to recently meet with Senator Cathy Young and she expressed her support for full funding for CSP. I ask our other leaders to do the same.

A reduction in funding for the program would impact New Yorkers by tacking away their access to this type of screening, given the national landscape and uncertainty to surrounding health care coverage, cuts to the program are even more concerning.

Cancer screenings can detect cancer in people who do not have any symptoms. Detecting cancer at its earlier, more treatable stage can save lives as well as health care dollars.

The facts are simple. Cancer screenings save lives. Full CSP funding must be restored to assure those in need continue to have these lifesaving screenings available.

Bob Williams

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) Volunteer



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