Colon cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S., excluding skin cancers. Experts say colon cancer is curable, especially when detected early. To make testing easier, Ascension St. Vincent is offering free at-home colon screen kits through March.
The kits are free for people ages 45 to 75 that have not had either a colonoscopy in the last 10 years or have not used an at home kit in the last year. Colon kits test for hidden blood in stool that could shed from a polyp or early cancer.
Ascension St. Vincent gastroenterologist Dr. Mazen Alsatie said screening kits are effective and can save lives.
“Find the cancer, find the problem before the problem or the cancer finds you, because if there's something inside, it is going to become a bigger problem in the future,” Alsatie said.
Alsatie said current guidelines recommend people age 45 or older should undergo screening.
“It could be a colonoscopy or it could be a stool test,” Alsatie said. “And there are situations that the screen should start earlier, particularly if there's a family history of colon cancer.”
If an abnormality is found, Ascension St. Vincent will follow-up and schedule an appointment to determine treatment options. People with ongoing gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, diarrhea or blood in their stool are advised to speak with a doctor or schedule a colonoscopy.
To order a kit, call 317-338-5434.
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