March 5, 2014
Free Colorectal Cancer Testing Kits Available Through RCPIL
The Regional Cancer Partnership of Illinois (RCPIL) will provide free colorectal cancer home screening kits for individuals age 50 and older on selected dates in March at two Springfield locations. March is colorectal cancer awareness month.
The free kits will be available from 2- 4 p.m., Friday, March 21, and from 4-6 p.m. Thursday, March 27 at Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI) at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, 315 W. Carpenter in Springfield. Individuals should park in the cancer institute lot, which can be accessed from Carpenter Street, and pick up the kit in the cancer institute lobby.
The kits will also be available at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, 2833 South Grand Avenue East in Springfield from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 25 and Wednesday, March 26. The kits detect the presence of blood, which can be an indicator of several different medical conditions. It is not a specific test for colon cancer.
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 the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.
The home screening is recommended for individuals age 50 and older, or who have a history of colorectal polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, a diet that is high in processed and/or red meat, smoking, obesity or heavy alcohol use. For more information, please call Celeste Wiley, 217-757-7684.
The screening kit does not substitute for a colonoscopy, the best method to detect colorectal cancer. A colonoscopy 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 better treated.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death due to cancer for men and women combined. 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 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, Springfield Clinic, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.