Free Colorectal Cancer Screening 03/19/2007 March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: the cancer people are often too embarrassed to talk about. Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is the third most common cancer killer in men and women. Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center’s C.A.R.E. Network and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, with whom MBPCC is jointly accredited, are offering free screenings this Saturday, March 24, from 9 am – 2 pm at the Wal-Mart on College Drive.
Representatives from both the C.A.R.E. Network and OLOL will be distributing free take-home fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) that test for hidden blood in the stool. The take-home kit, which must be picked up by the user, is not a substitute for a colonoscopy but is just one form of colorectal cancer screening. Colorectal cancer usually causes no symptoms in its early stages, making screening vitally important. If you are seeing bright red blood with your bowel movements, you should go directly to your doctor.
More than 90% of colorectal cancer cases are diagnosed in individuals older than 50. Fifty is the recommended age to begin colorectal cancer screening, unless there is a family history, in which case you should start earlier. Check with your family doctor for the most appropriate screening option for your age and medical history.