For those with little or no insurance
Below are local and national resources for patients who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer and need assistance paying for treatment:
- The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems—Contacting your local hospital is a good first step when seeking help to pay for treatment. This website lists all Oregon hospitals’ financial assistance policies.
- The Figg Tree Foundation—Provides grants to help with medical expenses ranging from doctors visits to chemotherapy treatment (click on Grant Info)
- Patient Advocate Foundation—The Colorectal CareLine provides one-time grants to patients who have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer and need help with transportation services associated with their care
- BenefitsCheckUp, a Service of the National Council on Aging—Helps seniors access available benefits for health care and other needs
- HealthWell Foundation—Helps pay for medications for patients who are underinsured
- Oregon Primary Care Association—Provides a list of federally qualified health centers across Oregon (click on Find a Health Center)
- Project Access—Coordinates a network of volunteer physicians and other health care providers, making it easier for them to donate medically necessary care to the low-income uninsured in our communities.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Cancer Society
- National Cancer Institute, or 1-800-4-CANCER
Last fall, my doctor suggested I undergo a colonoscopy. It’s typically first recommended when a person hits 50, which was my case. I had a colonoscopy in March, which seems fitting since March is National Colorectal Awareness Month. I decided to tell my story so others would get screened as well.
Colonoscopies aren’t something people usually discuss and many people tend to put it off because they’re unsure what it entails. Sending a long snakelike device through my backside never seemed very appealing to me, either.
I’m glad I went and had the procedure done. The peace of mind knowing there aren’t any potential problems down there is worth it. If you’re older than 50 or have a family history or are showing symptoms of colorectal cancer, you should consider it, too.
John Sowell – Roseburg