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Free Home Test Kits for Colorectal Cancer Available

March 4, 2019
The Regional Cancer Partnership of Illinois will distribute free colorectal cancer home screening test kits on several dates and locations during March, Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, to raise awareness about colorectal cancer. FIT kits, or Fecal Immunochemical Tests are a test kit requiring one specimen, compared to fecal occult blood tests which require three on three separate days.
 
FIT kits do not substitute for a colonoscopy, which is the best method to detect colorectal cancer. The test kits can detect the presence of blood, which can be an indicator of several different medical conditions. Regularly scheduled screenings in the form of colonoscopies can prevent cancer from developing if precancerous polyps are detected and removed before they become cancer. Regular screenings can also find cancer in its earliest stages when it can be treated.
 
A short consent form is required to pick up the home screening kit. After completing the kit at home, individuals will mail it back in a provided pre-addressed envelope. Individuals will receive a letter notifying them of their results. Testing and processing is done in collaboration with Memorial Medical Center and Polymedco.
 
The home screening is recommended for: individuals age 45 and older, people who have a family history of the disease, history of colorectal polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, a diet that is high in processed food and/or red meat, or those who smoke, are obese or have heavy alcohol use. Please call Diana Weyhenmeyer RN, Nurse Navigator HSHS St. John’s Hospital, 217-814-5591 for more information.
 
Locations, dates and times are:
 
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Main Lobby, 200 Stahlhut Drive, Lincoln, Tuesday, March 19 from 8 a.m. - noon, and Tuesday March 19 from 1-4 p.m. and Wednesday, March 20 from 12-2 p.m.
 
Koke Mill Express Care, 3132 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield, Thursday, March 14, from 9 am - 3 pm. 
 
Kumler Outreach Ministries, 303 North Grand Avenue East, Friday, March 22 from 9 am – noon.
 
Passavant Area Hospital, 1600 W. Walnut, Jacksonville, Thursday, March 21 from 4-6 p.m. and Friday, March 22, from 9-11 a.m.
 
Senior Services of Central Illinois, 701 W. Mason St. Springfield, Tuesday, March 12 from 9 – 11 a.m.
 
Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter Street, Springfield, Monday, March 11, and Monday, March 25, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.
 
St. John’s Breadline, 430 N. 5th St., Springfield, Friday, March 15 from 2-4 p.m.
 
Taylorville Memorial Hospital, 201 E. Pleasant St., Taylorville, Wednesday, March 13 and Wednesday March 20, 9 a.m.-noon both days.
 
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death due to cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Survival rates for colon and rectum cancer are nearly 90 percent when the cancer is diagnosed before it has extended beyond the intestinal wall, according to “Illinois Facts and Figures” published by the American Cancer Society.
Members of the Regional Cancer Partnership of Central Illinois include: American Cancer Society, Central Counties Health Centers, Illinois Emergency Management Agency - Radon Division, Illinois Department of Public Health, Logan County Health Department, Mia Ware Foundation in Jacksonville, Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville, Regional Cancer Center Memorial Medical Center, Sangamon County Department of Public Health, Sangamon County Medical Society, Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU, Springfield Urban League, St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, St. John’s Hospital Cancer Institute, Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Taylorville Memorial Hospital, and Cass County Health Department .
 
Contact Cindy Davidsmeyer with any questions at 217.545.3837.