KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) – Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, a statistic one Kearney hospital wants to change.
In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, CHI Health Good Samaritan hospital has paired up with other area health agencies to offer free colorectal cancer screening kits to the public.
“We kind of live in a hot spot with our love of red meats. It puts us at higher risk in this part of the state,” said Renae Olson, cancer nurse navigator at CHI Health Good Samaritan’s Cancer Center. “So we just want to do our part in detecting those cancers early.”
To get your free kit, you can call CHI Health Good Samaritan at 308-865-7884. They’ll ask you for some personal information, and mail the kit to you. It’ll have detailed instructions on how to complete it, and send it into the lab for testing.
The lab will check for microscopic signs of blood, which is a potential sign of colorectal cancer. Patients and their primary care physicians will be informed of their results
Colorectal cancer is the third most diagnosed cancer in both men and women.
Olson said if people between the ages of 45 and 75 got yearly screenings, at least 60 percent of deaths could be prevented.
“We’ve seen an increase in colorectal cancers in younger ages. They’re not quite sure what’s causing that. It could be our diets. If you live a healthier lifestyle, exercise, eat more fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water – that’s the best thing for your colon health,” Olson said.
Olson said you may have to get screened before or after the recommended age depending on your family and medical history. She said people over 85 shouldn’t be screened.
You can find more information on the free kits here