The Regional Cancer Partnership of Illinois will distribute free colorectal home test kits in March across the region.
While not a specific test for colon cancer, the kits can detect the presence of blood, which can be an indicator of several different medical conditions.
The kits will be available at the following locations:
March 13: 2 to 4 p.m., HSHS St. John’s Women and Children’s Center, 409 N. Ninth St., Springfield. Use the main entrance drive-through.
March 15: 10 a.m. to noon, Grace Lutheran Church, 714 E. Capital St., Springfield.
March 18: 9 to 11 a.m., Kumler Outreach Ministries, 303 North Grand Ave. E., Springfield.
March 18: 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., Taylorville Memorial Hospital, 201 E. Pleasant St. Use the main entrance drive-through.
March 19: 2 to 4 p.m., Koke Mill Medical Center, 3132 Old Jacksonville Road, Springfield.
March 19: 4 to 6 p.m., Passavant Area Hospital, 1600 W. Walnut St., Jacksonville. Use the main entrance drive-through.
March 20: 9 to 11 a.m., Passavant Area Hospital, 1600 W. Walnut St., Jacksonville. Use the main entrance drive-through.
March 20: 8 to 10 a.m., Cancer Care of Decatur, 210 W. McKinley Ave., Decatur.
March 23: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter St., Springfield.
March 24: 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m., Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, 200 Stahlhut Drive, Lincoln.
March 24: 5 to 7 p.m., Memorial Medical Center, lobby of Regional Cancer Center, Memorial Medical Center, 701 N. First St., Springfield.
March 25: 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m., Taylorville Memorial Hospital, 201 E. Pleasant St. Use the main entrance drive-through.
March 25: 1 to 4 p.m., Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, 200 Stahlhut Drive, Lincoln.
The screening kits do not substitute for a colonoscopy, the best method to detect colorectal cancer. Regularly scheduled screenings in the form of colonoscopies can prevent cancer from developing if precancerous polyps are detected and removed before they become cancer. Regular screenings can also find cancer in its earliest stages when it can be treated.
A short consent form is required to pick up the home screening kit. After completing the kit at home, individuals will need to mail it back in a provided pre-addressed envelope. Individuals will receive a letter with their results.
The screenings are recommended for individuals age 45 and older, people who have a history of colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, a diet high in processed food or red meat, smokers and individuals who are obese or have heavy alcohol use.
For more information, call Naomi Wands, a registered nurse and community cancer education coordinator at Memorial Medical Center, at 217-757-7684.
Survival rates for colon and rectum cancer are nearly 90 percent when the cancer is diagnosed before it has extended beyond the intestinal wall, according to the American Cancer Society.
Members of the Regional Cancer Partnership of Central Illinois are Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, American Cancer Society, Central Counties Health Centers, Decatur Memorial Hospital, Illinois Emergency Management Agency - Radon Division, Illinois Department of Public Health, Logan County Health Department, Mia Ware Foundation in Jacksonville, Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville, Regional Cancer Center at Memorial Medical Center, Sangamon County Department of Public Health, Sangamon County Medical Society, Simmons Cancer Institute, SIU Medicine, Springfield Urban League, St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield, St. John’s Hospital Cancer Institute, Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Susan G. Komen Memorial, Taylorville Memorial Hospital and Cass County Health Department.
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.