February 23, 2016
Free Colorectal Cancer Home Test Kits Available
March is “Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month”
The Regional Cancer Partnership of Illinois will distribute free colorectal cancer home test kits on several dates and locations during March to raise awareness about colorectal cancer.
Though the kits are not a specific test for colon cancer, they can detect the presence of blood, which can be an indicator of several different medical conditions. The screening kit does not substitute for a colonoscopy, the best method to detect colorectal cancer. Regularly scheduled colonoscopies can prevent cancer from developing if precancerous polyps are detected and removed before they become cancerous. 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 the Sangamon County Department of Public Health.
The home screening is recommended for: individuals age 50 and older, people who have a 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. For more information, please call Celeste Wiley, RN, Memorial Medical Center’s Cancer Center, 217-757-7684.
Locations, dates and times are:
Senior Center, 701 W. Mason St., Springfield, 10 a.m. - noon on Wednesday, March 16.
Koke Mill Medical Center, 3132 Old Jacksonville Rd., Springfield, west end lobby, 9 - 11 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22.
Sangamon County Public Health Department, 2833 S. Grand Avenue West, Springfield, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22; 9 - 11 a.m. and 2 - 4 p.m. on Tuesday, March 29; 10 a.m. - noon; and 2 - 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30.
Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter Street, Springfield, 3 - 5:15 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23, and 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Thursday, March 24.
Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital Main Lobby, 200 Stahlhut Drive, Lincoln, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 22 and 12:30 - 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23.
Of cancers that affect both men and women, 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, and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.