June 3rd, 2004Colon cancer is the second-leading cancer killer in America. Most Iowans have a one in eight chance of developing this type of cancer. It’s estimated that nearly 2,000 Iowans will develop colon cancer this year. The good news is that a simple test can detect the cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.
On Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10, the American Cancer Society’s Colorectal Task Force and Great River Medical Center will provide free fecal occult blood test kits to area residents. The test is a simple method of detecting occult (hidden) blood in the stool—an early sign of colorectal cancer—before it is visible to the naked eye.
The home test requires people to collect samples from three bowel movements, smear them on a slide and take them to a designated drop-off site for testing. The tests are for both men and women age 50 and older.
Those interested in participating in the screening may pick up a test kit at the following times and locations:
Friday, July 9
• 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Great River Medical Center, Spruce Room, 1221 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington
• 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Mercy Plaza lobby, 1225 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Community Health Center, 801 N. Third St., Burlington
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mediapolis Clinic, 401 N. Orchard, Mediapolis
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Morning Sun Clinic, 19 N.W. First St., Morning Sun
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Planned Parenthood, 620 N. Eighth St., Burlington
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Public Health Department, 522 N. Third St., Burlington
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wapello Clinic, 406 Mechanic, Wapello
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., West Point Clinic, 205 Seventh St., West Point
Saturday, July 10
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Great River Medical Center, Oak Room, 1221 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington
• 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mercy Plaza lobby, 1225 S. Gear Ave., West Burlington
Because the test is not specific for colon cancer, positive results will require further testing. Participants with positive test results will be contacted directly regarding follow up with a physician.
If you have any questions regarding the colorectal cancer screenings, please call the local American Cancer Society office at (319) 752-4008, ext. 103.
American Cancer Society’s guidelines for early detection of colon cancer:
The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women follow one of these testing options beginning at age 50:
• Colonoscopy every 10 years
• Double-contrast barium enema every five years
• Flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years
• Yearly fecal occult blood test
• Yearly fecal occult blood test and flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years (preferred over either option alone)
Colon cancer risk factors:
People should begin colon cancer testing earlier and/or undergo testing more often if they have any of these colon cancer risk factors:
• Certain genetic factors (familial adenomatous polyposis, Gardner’s syndrome, hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer)
• Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative or Crohn’s colitis)
• Personal or family history of colon cancer
• Personal or family history of intestinal polyps