March 19, 2013

Cigna rearms its anti-colorectal cancer campaign

Bloomfield health insurer Cigna Corp. is repeating its successful national rollout of its colorectal cancer prevention campaign, this time urging at least two million Americans to get tested for one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths.

Cigna says its cancer screening program targets the approximately 300,000 newly eligible members of its Cigna medical plan age 50 to 64 years whose claims data show they haven't had colorectal cancer screening.

They will be mailed information about appropriate colon cancer screening tests, including colonoscopy. They also will be invited to request a free in-home screening kit for detecting abnormalities in the lower gastrointestinal tract.

Quest Diagnostics will supply test kits. Lab fees for testing the results are covered under most Cignahealth plans, the insurer said. Visit for more information about the test.

Last March, Cigna's cancer screening program reached nearly 542,000 customers, it said. After six months, Cigna reviewed claims data, which showed that nearly 31,000 of the targeted individuals had a screening.

Cigna and the American Cancer Society, its partner in the project, say cancer screenings such as colonoscopies are vital detection tools.

According to their data, half the colonoscopies had normal findings, while 48.8 percent detected polyps that were removed, and 1.2 percent resulted in a diagnosis of colon cancer. Detecting and removing polyps is important because polyps can become cancerous.

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