Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and women. It is also one of the most preventable with proper screenings. In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Rome Memorial Hospital is offering free screening test kits that will provide at home results in two minutes.
“Although the at-home test kit is not a substitute for a colonoscopy, this is an easy, no fuss-no muss test that we encourage people to do it every year, for that added peace of mind,” said Amy Weakley, director of Rome Memorial Hospital Radiation Medicine.
Men and women 45 and older can pick up a free kit 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday in March, at Rome Memorial Hospital Radiation Medicine, 107 E. Chestnut St., Suite #103.
Test kits will also be available each weekday in March at:
Boonville Family Care, 13407 State Route 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Camden Family Care, 5 Masonic Avenue, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Appointments are not required.
The EZ DETECT test is designed to detect blood in the stool that can be caused by bleeding ulcers, hemorrhoids, colitis, diverticulitis, fissures or cancer of the colon, Weakley explained.
“You don’t have to collect a stool sample and bring it in for testing. You simply drop the test pad into the toilet after a bowel movement and see your results in two minutes,” she said.
There are enough pads to test three consecutive bowel movements. Complete instructions and a results card are included in the kit. Participants should share their results with their personal physician.
“Regular screenings save lives by detecting cancer at its earliest stages when it is most treatable,” said Board Certified Radiation Oncologist Michael Fallon, MD, MBA. “Screenings are critical because most people with early colon cancer don’t have symptoms. Symptoms usually appear with more advanced disease.”
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States, excluding skin cancers. The ACS estimates 101,420 new cases of colon cancer in the United States in 2019 and 44,180 new cases of rectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is estimated to cause 51,020 deaths in 2019.
The ACS recommends that both men and women at average risk should begin colorectal screenings at age 45. Tests such as a colonoscopy every 10 years or flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years are better at detecting polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
For additional information about the free colorectal cancer screening, call 315-338-0897