Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force Offers Education Year-Round & Free Testing Kits In March
During the month of March -- Colon Cancer Awareness Month -- the Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force makes free FOBT kits available at nearly 140 locations in the Metro area.
Nancy Paul, a member of the task force, says a positive FOBT indicates blood in the colon, which is not proof cancer is present, but does warrant medical follow-up.
Paul says although the CDC screening guidelines recommend starting to get colonoscopies around age 50 and continuing to age 75, the number of people under 50 being diagnosed with colorectal cancer is increasing. A 2017 American Cancer Society study cites rising obesity rates, poor diet, and lack of exercise as possibly contributing to this trend.
Paul says knowing your family history is crucial when it comes to colon cancer.
“Because if you had a parent that was diagnosed with colon cancer, you should be screened, or have your first colonoscopy, 10 years before your parent was diagnosed. And also, just be aware of your own body. You know, if you’re bloated, go to your doctor and report anything unusual --those types of symptoms that you may be having -- so that at least they are aware of it. But the family history is very important.
According to the National Institutes of Health, colon cancer is the fourth most common newly-diagnosed cancer, with nearly 136,000 new cases reported in 2017.
The Great Plains Colon Cancer Task Force, has been working since 1999 to spread the news about the fact that many colon cancers are preventable, and that it is a very treatable cancer when detected early.
For more information, including the location of free FOBT kits during the month of March, the website is coloncancertaskforce.org