February 28, 2012
Community Hospital is providing a free test to screen for colorectal cancer during the Colorectal Health Check 2012, according to program director, Sarah Wolford, Community Hospital Community Outreach Coordinator. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
The Colorectal Health Check provides interested individuals, aged 50 and older, with a free test kit that helps screen for early signs of cancer of the colon, according to Wolford. Cancer of the colon can be fatal, but the chances for recovery improve dramatically if the disease is detected in its early stages.
Interested individuals may obtain a free colorectal home test kit. The kit includes simple directions for use and an envelope for return to the hospital laboratory. Participants will be notified by mail of their test results. Those under 50 years of age with a history of colon cancer in their family may also obtain a kit. Kits may be requested until April 16.
“Colorectal cancer—or cancer of the colon or rectum—is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States following lung cancer,” Wolford said. “Since Nebraska has one of the highest rates of colon cancer in the country Community Hospital feels it is important to provide this wellness screening to the public. Any person from our area can request a kit.”
Colon and rectal cancers are considered slow growing. When they are found and treated in an early, localized stage, the survival rate is very good. The five-year survival rate is 90 percent for colon cancer and 80 percent for rectal cancer. Many studies show that screening reduces mortality from colorectal cancer.
A positive test shows that blood was found in the stool. This indicates there is a source of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Although most sources of bleeding are not cancerous, patients with positive results are referred to their local doctor.
Kits may also be ordered by calling Wolford at 308-344-8550 and leaving your name, complete mailing address, age, sex and phone number for each kit ordered. Please allow up to two weeks to receive.