Free Cancer Screenings Available at Staunton Community Health Fair
A community health fair featuring free screenings for Staunton area residents will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, at the Community Memorial Medical Clinic, 325 N. Caldwell in Staunton.
Simmons Cancer Institute (SCI) at SIU Medicine in Springfield, in partnership with Community Hospital of Staunton, will provide the free screenings for skin cancer and prostate cancer. Free home test kits for colorectal cancer will also be distributed during the morning event, which is made possible through funds from the Illinois Department of Public Health. A registered dietician will be on site to provide healthy eating examples and tips at the event.
SCI physicians partner with Community Hospital of Staunton to provide cancer care for the region. “Prevention, awareness and education are important parts of the care we offer,” said Aziz Khan, MD, executive director of SCI and chief of hematology oncology for SIU Medicine. “Diagnosing a pre-cancerous condition or cancer at an early stage is a positive step.”
Sue Campbell, Community Hospital of Staunton CEO, said the free event “is a wonderful opportunity for the residents of our community to take advantage of these life-saving cancer screenings. It could literally save someone’s life.”
Short consent forms are required for all of the screenings. Some restrictions apply.
Skin cancer screenings are open to individuals 18 years of age or older and not currently under the care of a dermatologist.
Prostate screenings are available for men between the ages of 40 and 70 who are not under the routine care of a urologist, who have no history of prostate cancer and have not had their prostate removed. Results will be mailed to those tested.
Colon cancer home test kits are recommended for individuals age 50 and older or who have a history of colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease. People can be at risk for colon cancer if they have a diet that is high in processed food and/or red meat, smoke, drink alcohol excessively or are obese.
Home test kits for colon cancer can detect the presence of blood in a bowel movement, which can be an indicator of several medical conditions. Individuals will mail the test kit back in a provided pre-addressed envelope after completing the test at home. Test results will be mailed.
The screening kit does not substitute for a colonoscopy, the best method to detect colorectal cancer. 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.
The mission of Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer needs through education, research, patient care and community service.