Attention Pennsylvania Residents

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Attention Pennsylvania Residents

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 28, 2006 8:28 am

User: Edward

This is a letter to the editor that I am posting in several Pennsylvania newpapers. Other states may have pending legislation, but if you live or have relatives in PA pass this on.

As February fades away and the calendar turns to March, I would like to educate everyone that March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal Cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women and presently ranks number two as the cancer killer.
According to the American Cancer Society, 90% of all colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in men and women over 50. The ACS recommends all people who turn age 50 to discuss colorectal screening with their family doctor. If you have a family history of colorectal disease, the ACS recommends that you get tested 10 years earlier than the family member’s diagnosis. For example, if a parent or sibling was diagnosed at age 40, you should be screened near you 30th birthday.
Survival rates among people diagnosed with colorectal cancer are good if detected early. One and five-year survival rates for all stages are 83 and 67 percent and 58 percent after 10 years. If the diagnosis is localized to the colon and caught early the five year rate of survival dramatically jumps to 90%, however only 39% of diagnoses fall in this category. Most of the time only surgery is needed without chemotherapy and radiation treatments if the cancer is localized to the colon. The cost of chemotherapy for stage II colon cancer in 2003 was over $50,000.
On July 1st of this year, all insurers will be required to cover mammograms according to ACS guidelines. Senate Bill 635 would require insurance companies to cover colonoscopies according to ACS guidelines. SB 635 currently sits in the banking and insurance committee and has bipartisan support with 60 percent of state senate sponsorship. This committee is headed by Senator Gibson Armstrong (R-13) of Lancaster and York Counties. As a taxpayer of Pennsylvania, you can contract Senator Armstrong the following ways and ask him to support this bill by moving it through his committee. You can email him at You can call him at his district office at 717-397-1309 or his Harrisburg Office at 717-787-6535. In the event of his being in session, ask for his chief of staff, Mr. Chris Latta.
Through education and legislative initiative we can increase survivorship among people diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Edward Washuta
Central Susquehanna Valley Colon Cancer Task Force

Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 7:43 pm
Location: Syracuse, NY

Postby Traybug » Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:32 am

Good for you Edward! You are the best! Not only dealing with this disease yourself, but working to do something to prevent others from going through the same. Keep up the great work! Your letter looks great! :D



pa resident

Postby guest » Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:11 am

Thanks for the heads-up Edward! My email has been sent to Senator Armstrong! Just a quick note about insurance and colonoscopies.My Grandmother-84 and Mother-75 both died of colon cancer,my son now 35 was diagnosed with stage iv in Aug. 2004.I had my first colonoscopy in Oct.2004 after my son was diagnosed.My insurance company refused to pay for my "routine" colonoscopy,I called them , my doctor had to write a letter explaining the circumstances of my "routine" colonoscopy.....they paid for every cent of it! I don't know if this will help others,but I did not feel I had a routine test done,and it was worth the more than $3000.00 to try to fight it. My 26 year old daughter had no problem with insurance co.paying when she had hers done. Everyone related has to be aware and have this test done! My daughter and I were very fortunate and had clean tests.My 23 year old niece had a small polyp removed and my 44 year old brother had two polyps removed.My husband will be going next month.We all go back for a 5 year follow-up colonoscopy and we joke we want a family plan! Please everyone fight for this and your rights if you may be at risk-we all know it is not pleasant to see someone fighting a disease that can be prevented! The preventive testing is a lot less costly than the treatment.And we all are paying for the testing as well as the treatment in our insurance costs! Thanks again and also for listening! Thelma


Pennsylvania Legislation

Postby Guest » Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:40 am

From Edward,

Just to add some things that have been kept out of the Letter to Editor to keep it breif, but I would like to add here and share with your legislators. I went from a doctor's visit on 12/3/02 to surgery on 12/6/02 and didn't return to work until January 28th. I was a person with no symptoms until that time.

You get hit with many things at once. Will my family be ok??? Will I be able to pay the mortgage??? I can't be dying???? Legislators were under the impression that people would be lining up for colonoscopies. It is very overwhelming to have any family go through this shock and awe.

What can you do? You can check through your own state's insurance commission or their regulatory body to see if they if the state mandates covering colonoscopies to do business in that state. Also, review your own insurance policy yearly. Usually, you get the big book. Sometimes changes are highlighted, sometimes there are not.

These are some of the small things by individuals that will help their own situation in the long run.

Livestrong Everyone

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