In an effort to move Hoosiers at-risk of colorectal cancer from awareness to action, the Colorectal Cancer Alliance will partner with the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation and the Little Red Door Cancer Agency throughout 2019 to screen hundreds of individuals in Indiana for the disease, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, and provide follow-up patient navigation when needed.
The Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation will provide funding for 334 FIT tests, a stool test for colorectal cancer, to uninsured and underinsured residents in Indiana.
Statistically, 25 individuals will require a follow-up colonoscopy due to a positive FIT result, which will be provided at low- or no-cost, and an estimated 10 of these individuals will be diagnosed with a form of colorectal cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, screening rates in Indiana rank 42 out of 50 states and the District of Columbia, at 62 percent so the addition of these kits has the potential to significantly help Hoosiers who may currently be missing screenings.
“Colorectal cancer screening saves lives, and that’s why we’re thrilled and thankful to partner with the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation to provide life-saving screening tests to uninsured and underinsured populations in Indiana,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.
Despite its high incidence rate, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable cancers, if it’s found early enough through screening. Colorectal cancer rates are decreasing in people over 50 years old while increasing among those under 50. In Indiana, an estimated 3,360 people will be diagnosed with the disease in 2019, and 1,110 may die, according to the American Cancer Society.
“Anthem is pleased to be working with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and Little Red Door Cancer Agency to address what is a serious need in the community, to offer Hoosiers throughout the state the opportunity to receive no cost colorectal cancer screenings,” said Dr. Julie Keck, Anthem’s Indiana Medicaid Medical Director. “By removing the barriers to accessing screenings and follow up care services, we believe this program will help improve lives and the detection and treatment of one of the most preventable forms of cancer.”
Individuals wishing to participate in this screening campaign can learn more here and apply by calling (877) 422-2030. Patients who test positive during both the FIT and follow-up colonoscopy will receive patient navigation from the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and, in some counties, the Indianapolis-based Little Red Door Cancer Agency.
About Colorectal Cancer Alliance
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance is a national nonprofit committed to ending colorectal cancer. Working with our nation of passionate allies, we diligently support the needs of patients and families, caregivers, and survivors; eagerly raise awareness of preventative screening; and continually strive to fund critical research. As allies in the struggle, we are fiercely determined to end colorectal cancer within our lifetime. For more information, please visit ccalliance.org.
About Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation
Anthem is an independent licensee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Anthem is working to transform healthcare with trusted and caring solutions. Anthem is one of the nation’s leading health benefits companies. As the philanthropic arm of Anthem, Inc., the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation promotes the organization’s commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in the communities they serve. For more information, please visit http://www.anthemcorporateresponsibility.com/anthem-foundation.