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null Schedule health care screenings you may have postponed

Schedule health care screenings you may have postponed

For Immediate Release:  2020-07-01

Contact:  Peter Kates, (716) 857-4485

I am amazed by the adaptability of our health care providers and their patients as we all deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The acceptance of telehealth in the last few months is astonishing. Univera Healthcare estimates that New Yorkers used telehealth benefits 290,000 times last year, and a whopping 2.6 million times in just the first four months of this year. 

Now, as medical practices open for patient visits, it’s time to reconnect with your provider in person to discuss care or screenings you may have postponed, including screenings for breast, cervical, and prostate cancers. But those aren’t the only screenings to check on. 

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in New York state. There are approximately 9,000 new cases of colon cancer each year in our state and about 3,000 deaths.

Colonoscopy is the most thorough screening test and is proven to prevent the disease. Removing benign or pre-cancerous polyps found during colonoscopy can not only prevent colon cancer, but also can reduce deaths from the disease for years.

Prediabetes is serious, common, and reversible with lifestyle changes. One in three adults has prediabetes, but 90 percent don’t know it because there aren’t always symptoms. A simple blood sugar test can show if someone has prediabetes. African Americans, Hispanic and Latino Americans, American Indians and Native Alaskans are at higher risk for having elevated blood sugar levels.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The current estimate is that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma rates are up 800 percent among young women and 400 percent among young men in the U.S. in the last 40 years. More than five sunburns in a lifetime can double a person’s risk for melanoma. 
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Caucasians and men older than 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma than the general population, however, skin cancer can affect anyone. Skin cancer in persons of color is often diagnosed in its later stages, when it’s more difficult to treat. 

The American Academy of Dermatology encourages everyone to perform regular skin self-exams to check for signs of skin cancer, including new and changing moles, and advises individuals with a history of melanoma to have a full-body exam by a board-certified dermatologist at least annually.  

The best option for medical care is to see you provider in person. With many practices now welcoming patients, it’s time to reconnect with your provider to discuss care or screenings you may have postponed. Screenings save lives! 

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Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that serves members across the eight counties of Western New York. To learn more, visit

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