Pilot program in testing for Colorectal cancer. BD
Because more than six percent of CIGNA HealthCare members in Florida who participated in a pilot screening program for colorectal cancer last year had test results that revealed abnormalities -- signaling the need for follow-up tests with their doctors -- CIGNA HealthCare expanded the program significantly over the past year. More than 320,000 CIGNA HealthCare members received InSure(R) fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kits from CIGNA with the support of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX). The test helped CIGNA members screen at home for gastrointestinal bleeding which is often an early indicator for potentially deadly colorectal cancer.
Barry Wilkins of Seffner, Fla., is one of the CIGNA HealthCare members whose life was changed when he took the test. "I feel extremely lucky to have been included in CIGNA's program last year. I had a colonoscopy three years ago and thought I was all set, so when I received the InSure test kit, I almost ignored it," said Wilkins. "At the last minute, I decided to take the test and to my surprise I ultimately discovered I had colon cancer.
Because CIGNA sent me the kit without my even having to ask for it, my cancer was caught early enough to be treated. I consider myself so fortunate because who knows what would have happened had I waited for my next colonoscopy in two years."
In the expanded program, 1,016 people, or 6.7 percent of the members who returned the InSure test kit had positive results and required follow-up testing from their physicians. "Most people do not realize that screening for colorectal cancer can be a simple process because of tests like InSure," said Dr. Dick Salmon, CIGNA HealthCare National Quality Medical Director. "Colon cancer is preventable and treatable and can be detected at a stage where effective treatments are available, which is why we want to encourage our members to undergo screening for colon cancer. This program can help save lives," he continued.