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FREE Cancer Screening Kits!

MHP Offers FREE Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits during March

During March, Mahaska Health Partnership is offering free colorectal cancer screening kits that can be completed in the privacy of your own home and mailed back in for laboratory testing.

Colorectal Cancer is a cancer that develops in the colon or rectum, which are part of the digestive system. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancers develop slowly over several years and begin with a non-cancerous polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum.

“The key to preventing colorectal cancer-related deaths is through screening, a healthy diet and regular exercise,” explained MHP General Surgeon Paul Riggs, MD, FACS. “If colorectal cancer is detected early, the disease is 90% treatable.”

The American Cancer Society recommends adults age 50 years and older, and those with increased risk factors, complete a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) annually. “The test is very simple to complete and the sample is collected in the privacy of your home, and then mailed in,” Dr. Riggs said. “Your results are mailed back to you and if they are positive, we recommended that you contact your primary care provider for a follow-up exam. There could be several other reasons why blood is detected in your stool, so a positive FOBT test does not mean you have cancer.”

The FOBT is used to find hidden blood in a person’s stool. Usually, blood vessels on the surface of a polyp are fragile and easily damaged by the passage of feces. The damaged vessels release a small amount of blood that can be detected by examining the feces.

“The FOBT test is painless and takes only a few minutes to perform,” Dr. Riggs explained. “In addition, there is no direct risk to the colon, no bowel preparation and MHP is offering it for free throughout the month of March.”

Free kits can be requested by clicking here, calling 641.672.3100 or can be picked up at the following locations:

• MHP Main Lobby Registration (entrance #1)

• MHP Specialty Services (entrance #4)

• New Sharon Medical Center

• Family Medical Center

• MHP Hospice Services, Sigourney location

If you are age 50 or older, or have increased risk factors, get your free colorectal cancer screening kit from MHP during the month of March. Don’t die of embarrassment. Check your colon in the privacy of your own home, the peace of mind you’ll have is priceless.