St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Offers Free Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits During March
Seventh Consecutive Year for Hospital’s Colorectal Cancer Screening
Pontiac, Mich.--In support of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) will offer free colorectal cancer screening kits to community residents. The easy-to-use personal screening kits will be available for pick up March 1 through 31 at 56 churches, agencies and physician offices conveniently located throughout Oakland County. This is the seventh consecutive year St. Joe's has offered free colorectal cancer testing kits to the community.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, claiming nearly 50,000 lives each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that 136,830 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in 2014, with about 50,310 deaths from the disease. Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful methods for preventing colorectal cancer because screening helps detect polyps, which can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn in to cancer.
Both men and women are at risk for developing colorectal cancer, with individuals age 50 and over at greater risk of contracting the disease. A family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps also increases the risk. Others at higher risk include those with a history of a bowel disease, such as colitis or Crohn’s, and those who are African American.
Each of the free screening kits includes a simple non-invasive Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), which can help identify blood in the stool, a possible sign of cancer. The test can be completed in the privacy of a person’s home. No special diet is required. The procedure requires collecting one sample and returning it to SJMO by April 18 via a postage-paid pouch envelope supplied with the kit. SJMO will test the returned sample in its laboratory. Results will be communicated in confidence to each participant.
St. Joe's Cancer Center offers a multidisciplinary continuum of advanced cancer treatment, from acute inpatient care to outpatient services, cutting-edge diagnostic and surgical options and award-winning palliative care. SJMO’s program accreditation with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer demonstrates that the hospital meets the highest quality care standards.
SJMO’s cancer program is a member of the Mercy Cancer Network. As one of Michigan’s largest cancer networks, the Mercy Cancer Network delivers advanced medicine to local communities, offering the latest in cancer diagnostics, clinical research trials and therapeutic technology.
To learn more about the colorectal screening and community pick-up locations, call 800-372-6094.