Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month 2023: What Has New York Done to Address Rise in Colorectal Cancer Diagnoses?

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Proposes Plan to Reduce Toll of Colorectal Cancer in New York

March 28, 2023

DUTCHESS COUNTY, NY – MARCH 28, 2023 – At the start of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society (ACS) released their report “Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2023-2025,” which found that colorectal cancer is rapidly shifting to more advanced disease and younger individuals, with incidence of advanced disease now in 3 in 5 people and 1 in 5 diagnoses in people younger than 55. In 2023, an estimated 8,970 New Yorkers will be diagnosed with CRC, and 2,770 are expected to lose their battle with the disease. A new proposal in the New York State Legislature aims to improve access to precision medicine for patients with cancer and other diseases by expanding access to biomarker testing.

Building off the progress of the Colorectal Cancer Cost-Sharing Removal Act, which was passed at the end of 2022 and will remove financial barriers to screening, Senate Bill 1196 / Assembly Bill 1673 will ensure that New Yorkers who could benefit from biomarker testing have access to it, including those with CRC. The proposed legislation will require all state-regulated health plans, including Medicaid, to cover comprehensive biomarker testing for patients when supported by medical and scientific evidence.

For Local Lagrangeville resident Peter Marinaro, biomarker testing proved to be a critical resource when he was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 38-years-old. Peter’s CRC diagnosis wasn’t his first run-in with cancer, having survived osteosarcoma as a child. He knew that his fight against stage IV CRC would be different from the osteosarcoma of his childhood, noting that the tools available to him, like biomarker testing, would better help him throughout treatment. The information gathered from Peter’s biomarker test results gave his oncology team an understanding of the duration and intensity of treatment that was required.

“I am grateful that my insurance covered my biomarker testing as it has greatly informed my treatment plan and given me immense hope throughout this process. Every cancer patient should have similar access to diagnostic and treatment resources—and the hope such resources bring,” said Peter, who is remission as of January 2023.

Insight gained from biomarker testing can be used to help guide medical treatment in CRC as well as other cancers and diseases. Biomarker testing is often used to connect patients with targeted treatments that can improve quality of life and survivorship. Biomarkers can also open the door for cancer patients to participate in clinical trials, which advance new cancer treatments and have the power to improve outcomes. Ensuring that every New Yorker who needs biomarker testing has access to it will unlock treatment opportunities for more residents and ideally, increase survival rates among patients, including those with CRC.

ACS CAN New York Senior Government Relations Director Michael Davoli says, “We have made significant strides over the years in the treatment of colorectal cancer thanks to biomarker testing. This innovative testing opens the door to targeted therapy for cancer patients, which has not only led to improved quality of life but also has the potential to reduce costs by matching patients with the most effective treatment for their disease.” 

ACS CAN maintains resources on colorectal cancer prevention, detection and treatment. For more details, visit



The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that improves the lives of people with cancer and their families. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and advanced proven tobacco control measures. We’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. Join the fight by visiting

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Casey O'Neill
Senior Regional Media Advocacy Manager