Starting March 2, local residents can call Angela Stoltzenburg, director, Community Health Collaborative, at 217–605–5008 to have a kit mailed to their home address. Kits will be available while supplies last.
Completed kits should be mailed back in the provided, preaddressed envelope within 10 days of kit pickup. Individuals will receive a letter informing them of their results.
Take-home colorectal cancer screenings are recommended for individuals 45 years old and older, as well as people who have a history of colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, a diet high in processed food or red meat, smokers and individuals who are obese or engage in heavy alcohol use.
For people 76 years old and older, the decision to be screened should be based on a person’s preferences, life expectancy, general health and prior screening history.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of death among cancers that affect both men and women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the fecal immunochemical test is considered the standard for detection of blood in the stool, one of the early signs of colorectal cancer, the test does not replace a colonoscopy.
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.
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.
For more information about the kit distribution, call 217-788-4400.