March’s Message: Colorectal Cancer is Preventable; TOPS Markets® Partners with Erie County Cancer Services Program to Promote Screening

Modified: February 23, 2017 5:57pm

Latest News

Archived Press Releases by Year:



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

Date: February 23, 2017                               

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

Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925

March’s Message: Colorectal Cancer is Preventable

TOPS Markets® Partners with Erie County Cancer Services Program to Promote Screening

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.

GraphicNational Dress in Blue Day is Friday, March 3rd, is an annual opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer. There is more than one test for finding colorectal cancer, including easy tests done in the privacy of your home.

“Colonoscopies are the best method to detect colorectal cancer early, before it causes symptoms and when it is easier to treat. A colonoscopy can significantly lower the risk of advanced colorectal cancer and death,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein. “Also, performing a yearly fecal immunochemical test (“FIT”) is an effective screening method. If you are 50 or older, talk to your healthcare provider and get the test that is right for you. Colorectal cancer is largely treatable when detected in the early stages, but sadly, due to low screening rates, fewer than 40% of cases are caught early.”

To encourage more residents to screen for colorectal cancer, ECDOH will again partner with TOPS Markets® to promote colorectal cancer awareness. Select TOPS Markets® in Erie County will provide the InSure® FIT™ test kit to eligible adults 50 to 75 years old to aid in early detection of colon cancer.  For a list of the TOPS Markets® locations distributing kits, visit their website at: or contact the Cancer Services Program (“CSP”) at (716) 858-7376.logo

The InSure® FIT™ test kit provides a convenient sample collection method to use at home, making annual colorectal cancer screening easy. This is a simple, convenient and cost effective screening option that does not require any diet or medication adjustments. The InSure® FIT™ test kit is covered in full by most major health insurance plans and will be provided at no cost to residents without insurance.  .

 “It is important to know your family history and any personal risks for colorectal cancer,” Burstein added.  “When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it can often be cured.  In some cases, screening can actually prevent the development of colorectal cancer by finding polyps (abnormal growths) that can be removed before they become cancerous. Although this disease can occur at any age, most people who develop colorectal cancer are over 50.  All men and women age 50 and older should get screened for colorectal cancer.”

Here are some facts about colorectal cancer:

  • Colon Cancer is preventable.
  • Colon Cancer is one of the most detectable and treatable forms of cancer, and more than 90 percent of all cases can be prevented with recommended screening.
  • Colon Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States among men and women combined.
  • Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in New York State; each year more than 10,000 New Yorkers develop colorectal cancer and 3,500 residents will die as a result.
  • About 1 in 20 people will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime.
  • It affects people of all racial and ethnic groups.
  • It touches more than 132,000 Americans annually and claims nearly 50,000 lives.
  • Colon Cancer is most often found among people 50 years or older, but can occur at any age.
  • Everyone 50 years and older, and those with symptoms or a family history, should be screened regularly for colon cancer.

Erie County Cancer Services Program

The Erie County Cancer Services Program is part of the New York State Department of Health’s Cancer Services Program. This program provides screening for colorectal, cervical and breast cancer to eligible uninsured or underinsured individuals with high deductibles in every county in New York State. The Cancer Services Program can determine an individual’s eligibility for services, assist with scheduling screening examinations, and provide information at no cost. Contact CSP at (716) 858-7376, or utilize the website, for more information. The program is funded by grants from the New York State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control.

TOPS Markets®

Tops Markets. LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and currently operates 172 full-service supermarkets along with an additional five supermarkets operated by franchisees under the Tops banner. Currently Tops employs over 16,000 associates. Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in upstate New York, northern Pennsylvania, western Vermont, and north central Massachusetts.

# # #

Tops Store Schedule

Distribution of InSure® FIT™ test kits

 4—7pm each day






1275 Jefferson Ave




425 Niagara Street




3500 University Plaza




3201 Southwestern Blvd.

Orchard Park



890 Young St




1740 Sheridan Drive




S. 6150 South Park Avenue




12775 Broadway




4777 Transit Rd




9660 Transit Road

East Amherst



150 Niagara Street




355 Orchard Park Rd

West Seneca


For more information

Erie County Department of Health

Erie County Cancer Services Program

TOPS Markets®

New York State Department of Health

Colon Cancer Awareness

Fight Colorectal Cancer

The National Cancer Institute

InSure® FIT™ test kit

Frequently Requested



Phone: (716) 858-7690

Fax: (716) 858-8701

Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH)
95 Franklin Street
Buffalo, New York 14202

ECDOH Locations