Via Christi is offering free colon cancer screening kits in March to raise awareness during Colon Cancer Awareness Month.
The kits are available for free to those 50 and older at Dillons pharmacies in Kansas.
The American Cancer Society recommends anyone 50 or older get tested. Older adults have a higher risk of developing colon cancer.
“Colon cancer can be serious,” says Maggie Ward, coordinator for Via Christi’s Cancer Outreach and Risk Assessment program. “Many people think it is embarrassing to talk about symptoms they are experiencing, even with their doctor.”
Symptoms can include rectal bleeding or blood in stool, changes in bowel habits and changes in bowel appearance.
Ward says when colon cancer is detected early, it is curable. It is imperative to report any changes to your doctor, she says.
“If it’s different, it never hurts to tell your physician,” Ward says. “Your doctor will assist you and direct you in finding the culprit.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50,000 Americans die from colon cancer out of the more than 140,000 who are diagnosed.
With the Via Christi kits, the testing process involves a stool sample that is sent in to a lab in a postage-paid envelope.
“We’re glad we can offer these free kits, because individuals can use it in the privacy of their own home,” Ward says. “They will then be contacted by a navigator with their results.”
For more information, call 316-689-5700.
Via Christi Health
8200 E. Thorn Dr.
Wichita, KS 67226
About Via Christi Health
In Kansas, Ascension’s Via Christi Health operates nine hospitals and 75 other sites of care and employs more than 6,000 associates. Across the state, Via Christi provided more than $77.8 million in community benefit and care of persons living in poverty in fiscal year 2016. Serving Kansas for more than 135 years, Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate, personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most vulnerable. Ascension is the largest non-profit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system, operating 2,500 sites of care – including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities – in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Visit www.viachristi.org