Via Christi distributing free colon cancer screening kits in March

Colon Cancer (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – 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.

For more information, call 316-689-5700.

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