Colorectal Screenings

 About the Program
A health care initiative that provides colorectal cancer screenings for the uninsured and underserved population once a month, at no charge. Appointments and preparations for colonoscopies are coordinated for the uninsured and the underserved to receive colorectal cancer screenings that are conducted quarterly on a Saturday.  This initiative, conducted in collaboration with Ohio Gastroenterology, Inc. who performs the procedures, is a preventative measure designed to address the disproportionate number of advanced colorectal cancers found in the uninsured and underserved population.


 

The Challenge
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, and the third most common cancer among both men and women in the United States.  More than 92 percent of colorectal cancers occur in individuals 50 and older.  Research indicates that colorectal cancer deaths account for 10 percent of all deaths from cancer in Ohio. If the cancer is found and treated in an early or local stage, the 5-year survival rate is roughly 90%, according to the American Cancer Society. However, only 4 of 10 people affected are diagnosed at an early stage. A large factor in low rates of early diagnosis can be attributed to low testing rates. Low rates of early diagnosis are especially seen in the uninsured, underinsured, or those who face barriers in receiving preventative care such as routine colonoscopies after turning 50 years old.
Benefits
From January of 2014 – June of 2014, 54 Physicians CareConnection patients received preventative colonoscopy screenings.  The adenoma detection rate (an independent predictor of the risk of colorectal cancer after a screening colonoscopy) was 55.5%. This preventative screening provided an opportunity for precancerous polyps to be identified and removed, thus preventing more significant health problems in the future. Removal of precancerous polyps is much more cost effective than lengthy and expensive late stage cancer treatment. This initiative, an integral part of the health care services being coordinated by the Physicians CareConnection, focuses on prevention of life threatening disease in the underserved population as opposed to treatment of disease, which tends to be costlier.