Columbia, S.C. – Recognizing that March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is part of a statewide team trying to eliminate this disease.
Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men and women. Unlike prostate cancer, the leading male cancer, and breast cancer, the leading female cancer, colon cancer is preventable.
BlueCross reminds its members to have their routine colorectal cancer screenings at age 50. Screenings, performed through one or more of a variety of tests, are used to detect problems before they cause symptoms. BlueCross covers routine screenings beginning at age 50, and earlier for individuals with a family history of colon cancer or individuals who have symptoms. In South Carolina, half of eligible adults over 50 do not get their routine screenings.
“There’s a lot of misinformation in our society about this topic. People should not be afraid to go have a test. It could save their lives,” said Dr. Laura Long, MPH, M.D., BlueCross vice president of clinical quality and health management. “We want to set the bar in South Carolina for making a difference. Working together, we can eliminate this disease.”
BlueCross has teamed with the South Carolina Gastroenterology Association, the University of South Carolina Center for Colon Cancer Research and CVS Caremark in a partnership to fight the disease. The team has launched a public awareness campaign called “Covered in Blue” (blue is the “color” for colon cancer) that will run throughout March. BlueCross is providing a toolkit of promotional materials for its group accounts to download and use in the workplace.
The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation has funded grants to the Center for Colon Cancer Research to give the uninsured access to screenings. Other activities, such as “Drive Out Colon Cancer Day” at a Greenville Drive baseball game on May 1, will be held throughout the year. The other members of the group will host events and activities as well.
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, and other insurance and employee benefits services. The BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.