Colorectal Cancer Screening Program (CRCP)

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Maryland and the leading cause of cancer death in Howard County. Colorectal cancer affects both women and men. Colorectal cancer may be prevented through recommended screening, early detection, and treatment.

Facts About Colorectal Cancer

  • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause cancer deaths in the U.S.
  • There were 2,352 new cases and 885 deaths in Maryland in 2011 due to colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer deaths accounted for 8.7% of all cancer deaths in Maryland in 2011.
  • Screening, diagnosis and treatment can prevent colorectal cancer because it can detect precancerous growths, called polyps, in the colon and rectum. Although most polyps will not become cancerous, removing them can prevent cancer from occurring.
  • People with a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or offspring) who has had colorectal cancer have 2 to 3 times the risk of developing the diseasecompared to individuals with no family history. If the relative was diagnosed at a young age or if there is more than one affected relative, risk increases to 3 to 6 times that of the general population.
  • Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it. But this disease is highly preventable, by getting screened beginning at age 50.
  • Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important. If you have symptoms, they may include
    • Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement).
    • Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that do not go away.
    • Losing weight and you don’t know why.

    For additional information about Colorectal Cancer visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) webage.

    The Goal of the Colorectal Cancer Program is to Provide

  • Colorectal cancer education and screening to all residents
  • A colonoscopy to residents over 50 years of age or residents over 21 years old who are at increased risk for colorectal cancer
  • Necessary diagnostic, treatment, and patient navigation services for colorectal cancer

Eligibility guidelines:

  • Proof of residency in Maryland
  • Limited income
  • No health insurance or health insurance that does not cover a colonoscopy
If you qualify, the CRCP staff will:
  • Provide a list of doctors from which to choose services.
  • Schedule appointments
  • Arrange for transportation, if necessary
  • Provide interpretation services for non-English speaking clients

To apply for the program, call the Howard County Health Department at (410) 313-4255. 

The Importance of Colorectal Cancer Screening & Testing

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