March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: TOPS MarketsĀ® Partners with Erie County Cancer Services Program to Raise Awareness

MEDIA RELEASE

From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein

Date February 28, 2014

CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

TOPS Markets® Partners with Erie County Cancer Services Program to Raise Awareness

ERIE COUNTY, NY— March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of early detection of colorectal cancer through a nationwide campaign. The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) supports these efforts and encourages residents to have age-appropriate colorectal cancer screenings performed as directed by their healthcare providers.

“Colonoscopies are the best method to detect colorectal cancer early, before it causes symptoms and when it is easier to treat. Having a colonoscopy after age 50 can significantly lower the risk of dying from colorectal cancer,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. “Also, performing a yearly fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is also a highly effective method for early detection which then allows for treatment to help prevent the progression of colorectal cancer.”

Through the Erie County Cancer Services Program, the ECDOH provides cancer screening, diagnostic, treatment, and support services for uninsured and underinsured individuals aged 40 and over for colorectal, cervical and breast cancer. The ECDOH Cancer Services Program can determine an individual’s eligibility for services, assist with scheduling screening examinations, and provide information at no cost. Individuals can contact the Cancer Services Program at (716) 858-7376, or utilize the Cancer Services Program website, www.cspwny.org .

In recognition of March as Colorectal Health Awareness Month, TOPS Markets ® has partnered with the Cancer Services Program in the New York State Department of Health’s Main Streets Go Blue initiative to promote Colon Cancer awareness throughout the state.  The Main Streets Go Blue campaign will kick off on National Dress in Blue Day, March 7th. TOPS Pharmacy staff will be decked out in blue apparel and blue balloons will adorn each check-out line.

Select TOPS Markets® in Erie County will be offering the FIT Kit to eligible adults 50 to 75 years old to aid in early detection of colon cancer.  FIT is a simple, convenient and cost effective screening option that does not require any diet or medication adjustments. It involves collection of a very small sample and can be performed in just minutes.  The FIT Kit is covered in full by most major health insurance plans and will be provided at no cost to residents without insurance.

TOPS Markets® and The Cancer Services Program (CSP) of Erie County urges everyone to Go Blue for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month this March.  For a list of TOPS Markets® FIT Kit distribution locations, please visit www.TOPSMarkets.com. To learn more about Colorectal Cancer Awareness events in your area, call Lisa Napier, Cancer Services Program’s Outreach Manager at (716) 858-7376 or visit CSPWNY.org .

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