BATON ROUGE, La – During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana reminds Louisianians that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends adults at average risk start colorectal cancer screening at age 45.
Blue Cross and other health insurers cover colorectal cancer screening for eligible members at very low or no out-of-pocket cost. Contact Customer Service for your health plan (the number is on your member ID card) to find out how cancer screening is covered and how much you would pay.
“Rates of colon cancer in people younger than 50 have been increasing for the past several years. Starting screening at age 45 will help more people lower their risks by catching the disease in its earliest stages, when treatment is more likely to succeed,” said Blue Cross Medical Director Dr. Jeremy Wigginton.
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in the United States, and Louisiana has one of the highest rates of this type of cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.
A colonoscopy is the gold standard for colorectal cancer screening because it is very effective at detecting cancer before it spreads. Colonoscopies also detect pre-cancerous growths in the colon and rectum called polyps. Your health care provider can remove these during the procedure to lower your risk of developing cancer.
There are other screenings and tests for colorectal cancer, so talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you, Dr. Wigginton said.
“Screening saves lives, IF you take the time to get tested,” Dr. Wigginton said. “If you’re turning 45 this year, ask your health care provider about when you should start colorectal cancer screening. And, people of all ages should have an annual checkup. That’s a great opportunity to ask your provider about any preventive screenings, tests or shots you need, depending on your age and health or family history.”
Learn more about screening to prevent colorectal cancer in this animated video (:44). The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana YouTube channel features short health and wellness videos. Subscribe to know when new videos are added.
During March, follow Blue Cross on social media @BCBSLA to see original content, videos and graphic designs about colorectal cancer awareness and prevention. You can share these messages to your personal social media and encourage your loved ones to get screened. Blue Cross posts regularly on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. Founded in New Orleans in 1934, we are a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer with offices in every major region to serve our customers. We have been recognized for the past four years as an honoree of The Civic 50, named by Points of Light as one of the 50 most community-minded companies in the United States.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. We invite all Louisianians to visit our website at www.bcbsla.com or talk to us on social media @BCBSLA.