The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties Funds Free Cancer Screening
According to the New York State Department of Health, an estimated 12,000
people in Tompkins
County have no health
insurance. Are you one of them?
If you have no health insurance, or if your health insurance policy does not
cover the cost of screening tests for breast, cervical, or colorectal cancer,
you may be eligible for help from The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties. You may also
be eligible for help if your policy requires you to pay a high co-payment or
deductible that you can’t afford.
What is The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties?
The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties is a unique collaboration
of government and community-based systems. Our goal is to promote healthy
living through outreach, education, and access to services for the purpose of
reducing the risk of chronic disease. Funded by the NYS
Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and
Cayuga Medical Center,
The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties works with local health-care practitioners to
provide no-cost and low-cost clinical breast examinations, mammograms, Pap
tests, and colorectal screenings.
In addition to cancer screening, we also provide education about prostate
cancer. This is a very common form of cancer among men that responds well to
treatment when it is detected early.
Why is low-cost cancer screening so important?
Studies confirm that individuals with no health insurance, and those with
insufficient income to pay high deductibles and co-pays, typically postpone
preventative health care. Postponing regular check-ups decreases the likelihood
of early cancer detection when the disease is most easily and successfully
treated. At the same time, it increases the risk of cancer-related deaths.
How do I find out if I qualify for free or low-cost screening?
To determine your eligibility for free breast, cervical, or colorectal
cancer screening, simply call The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties at (607)758-5523.
Screening eligibility is based
on your income level and whether you are uninsured or underinsured for health
If I’m eligible for cervical and breast cancer screening, what happens next?
Once we have determined your eligibility, we will schedule a
cervical-cancer-screening exam for you with one of the participating
health-care providers in Tompkins
County. Mammograms for
breast cancer screening, which are also scheduled by this office, are provided
at the Convenient Care Center
in Ithaca, Cortland Convenient Care and Commons
Imaging in Cortland, and Cayuga Medical
What if I have a positive test result?
If you are a woman with a positive screening test result for cervical
cancer, or a woman or man with a positive screening test result for breast
cancer, our Cancer Services Program coordinator will meet with you to help
you complete the application to determine eligibility for Medicaid coverage for
treatment. The application is reviewed in Albany
and she is contacted with the results of the review. Then, together, you will
identify a doctor and establish a patient-physician relationship for the course
of your cancer treatment. She will review your options with you and will act as
your case manager throughout the process.
What about screening for colorectal cancer?
Colorectal cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., typically
responds well to early intervention. Screening for colorectal cancer involves a
fecal occult blood test, which is a kit that comes to you through the mail from
The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties. You simply follow the directions in the kit for
collecting small samples of three separate bowel movements. After completing
the kit, you mail it back in a preaddressed envelope. If your stool sample
results are positive, we will help you make an appointment for a colonoscopy,
which is performed at Cayuga
and is a more definitive diagnostic test for colorectal cancer.
For more information about the The Cancer Services Program of Cortland and Tompkins Counties, and to find out
about your eligibility, call (607)758-5523 .