The Colon Cancer Screening Program at MedStar Health is able to provide no-cost colon cancer screening for Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County residents who are uninsured or underinsured and have limited income.
Screenings are offered at four of our local hospitals and we offer free transportation to and from your appointment.
Your health and safety is our top priority, which is why we offer easy access through in-person and video visits. When an in-person appointment is best, you can expect to receive care in a clean and safe environment.
Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Maryland, yet one of the most preventable. When discovered early, colon cancer is 90% treatable.
Your colon and rectum are the last part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, or digestive system. Colorectal cancer is cancer that occurs in the colon or rectum.
Most colon cancers begin as small abnormal growths of tissue called polyps that form in these areas of the digestive system. A polyp is not cancer, but it can change over time into cancer.
The cancer can start in different areas of the colon and rectum, and may cause different side effects. By the time most side effects appear, it is usually already growing. That makes it harder to treat.
Individuals with colorectal polyps or cancer may have no symptoms at all, especially at first. So it is important to get screened, pay attention to your body and be on the lookout for anything that is not normal.
Symptoms of colon cancer may include:
These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, so it's important to consult with your MedStar Health doctor to determine whether they are connected to colorectal cancer or some other serious condition.
Colon and GI cancers are much easier to treat if caught early. Additionally, if you have a family history of colon/GI cancer, talk to your doctor about regular screenings.
In the event you should receive a colon cancer diagnosis, your MedStar Healthcare team will proceed quickly to the treatment phase. Your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you.
Your treatment depends on the stage of your cancer, whether it has metastasized (spread), and on your general health. At MedStar Health, your colon/GI cancer team will carefully explain each treatment option, give you advice, and thoroughly support you throughout your treatment process.
Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop colon cancer. Knowing your risks will help you and your doctor make the best health choices for you.
If you do have any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to suggest ways to reduce your risk, especially lifestyle factors that you can change.
Your age. More than 9 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found in people over 50.
Your race or background. If you are African-American or are Jewish with an Eastern European background you are at higher risk.
Your medical history. You are more likely to develop colorectal cancer if you have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, or have had cancer in the past.
Your family’s medical history. If you have close family members with colorectal cancer, you may be more likely to get it, too. Also, some conditions passed down through families may increase your risk.
Your lifestyle. The links between diet, weight, and exercise, and colorectal cancer risk are some of the strongest for any type of cancer. Some evidence suggests that colon cancer may be associated with a diet that is high in fat and calories and low in foods with fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
We provide quality care with a focus on individual service and easy access. Many people have barriers that prevent them from getting screened for colon cancer. Our program can help eliminate those barriers. Why choose us? Because we are here to help!
We schedule all your appointments and are your liaison with the physician’s office and hospital, and our staff of providers and case management staff are available to discuss your questions and fears in person or by phone. If you experience complications or are diagnosed with cancer, our team will navigate you through the treatment process and provide valuable resources.
The MedStar Cancer Network represents a true collaboration in cancer care. Our dedicated team of oncologists and cancer support staff collaborate to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of our patients.
Screenings are offered at four of our local hospitals, and we offer transportation to and from appointments.