NEW YORK CITY June 6, 2007 -- More New Yorkers are getting life-saving colonoscopies than ever before, the Health Department announced today, and people of all races and incomes are benefiting. The test which can detect, prevent, or cure colorectal cancer is generally recommended once every decade for people 50 and older, and earlier for those with a family history of the disease. Four years ago, only 43% of New Yorkers age 50 and older had been screened during the previous decade. Health officials will announce today that 60% of New Yorkers 50 and older had a colonoscopy in the past ten years, an increase of some 350,000 tests compared with 2003. The announcement is being made at the 4th Annual Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition (C5) summit at the American Conference Centers (780 Third Avenue, between 48th & 49th Streets).
In 2003, we set a five year goal to increase the percent of New Yorkers 50 and older who have been screened for colon cancer to 60%, said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Im proud to report that weve reached that goal two years ahead of schedule. Since 2003, colonoscopies increased among New Yorkers of all races, ethnicities, income level and insurance status. That means across the board more cancers will be prevented, and lives will be saved.
While whites were more likely than either blacks or Hispanics to have had a colonoscopy in 2003, the three groups screening rates were nearly equal in 2006, just four years later. More people are getting colonoscopies to prevent or find early colon cancer and it is saving lives, said Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas R. Frieden. The health gap for screening for this important cancer is closing. Weve accomplished a great deal, but we have more to do. We want to increase the colon cancer screening level to more than 80% of New Yorkers over 50 in the next 5 years.
The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) has tested nearly 71,000 New Yorkers over the past 4 years. H
Contact: Andrew Tucker
New York City Health Department