Colorectal Cancer Screening

The New Mexico Colorectal Cancer Program works with providers around the state to provide free colorectal cancer screening, surveillance and diagnostic services for eligible men and women.

Colorectal cancer is cancer that grows in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer can start anywhere in the large intestine. Most colorectal cancers start as polyps— abnormal growths—inside the colon or rectum. Over a long period of time, polyps may become cancerous. Screening tests can detect polyps before they become cancerous. They can be removed before they turn into cancer.

The best way to lower your risk of colorectal cancer is by having regular screening tests beginning at age 50. Scientific studies have shown that screening reduces deaths from colorectal cancer. If everyone aged 50 or older had regular screening tests, up to 60% of deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented.

Screening is when a test is used to look for a disease before there are any symptoms. (These are different from diagnostic tests, which are used when a person has symptoms and are intended to find out what is causing the symptoms.)

Most insurance plans help pay for colorectal cancer screening for people who are aged 50 or older. Medicare also helps pay for screening. If you are uninsured or if your plan does not cover screening, you may be eligible to receive services through the New Mexico Colorectal Cancer Program.

You may be eligible to participate in the New Mexico Colorectal Cancer Program and receive colorectal cancer screening, surveillance, and/or diagnostic services if you:

  • Are 50 years of age and older
  • Are uninsured or underinsured
  • Have an annual household income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines (see table below)
  • Have no symptoms of colorectal cancer

Our Patient-Centered Healthcare Home makes you feel welcomed and cared for by a team that:

  • Knows your health history and goals
  • Communicates effectively with you and with each other
  • Gives you appointments when you need them
  • Coordinates the complexity of labs, prescriptions, referrals and insurance

We go the extra mile to help our patients get help paying for their health care.

  • We assist with Medicaid applications
  • We help patients find insurance on the Marketplace
  • We enroll patients in special programs when they are eligible
  • We provide a discount for services based on family size and income