Utica, NY (WIBX) - Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer related deaths in the United States, and it's preventable. So, why haven't you been screened?

That is the message Oneida County officials were stressing today as County Executive Anthony Picente declared March "Colorectal Canter Prevention Month" in the county. 

Wendy Hunt, coordinator for the Cancer Services Program of Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties, says answering a few simple questions will get you a free colorectal cancer screening.

A colonoscopy is recommended for anyone over the age of 50. Recommendations for additional screenings beyond that vary, based on family history and whether polyps are found, said Peter Cittadino of the American Cancer Society.

 "People worry about the preparation for the colonoscopy and different issues that you've heard stories about...but, it pales in comparison to being diagnosed with late stage colon cancer, or losing a loved one because they didn't get a test," Cittadino said. "There's no reason to not get the screening because it will save lives. If they find the polyps, which is the beginning of colon cancer, they can take them out before the cancer even starts."

If you'd like a free colon cancer screening, call the Cancer Services Program of Oneida, Herkimer and Madison Counties at 798-5248.

Also, the American Cancer Society's website www.cancer.org has information on colon cancer and preventative tests.