Free Home Test Kits Available for Colorectal Cancer

March 10, 2017

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.Regional Cancer Partnership of Illinois logo

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 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.

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 Memorial Medical Center.

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:

Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Main Lobby, 200 Stahlhut Dr., Lincoln, Tuesday, March 14, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., and Wednesday, March 15, 1 – 4 p.m.

Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter St., Springfield, Wednesday, March 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and Thursday, March 23, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Koke Mill Medical Center, 3132 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield, Tuesday, March 28, 9– 11 a.m.

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, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure.