Colon cancer screening kits available at Southern 7 Health Department

ULLIN, Ill. (KBSI) – The Southern 7 Health Department has partnered with the Center for Asian Health Equity of the University of Chicago Medicine to provide at-home colorectal cancer screening kits.

Shawnna Rhine, the community outreach coordinator at Southern 7, said using a FIT Kit helps with the early detection of cancerous polyps. Although it has about a 98 percent efficacy rate, Rhine provided an important reminder. 

“This does not replace a colonoscopy, but what it can do is give you an idea of where you are in that process,” she said.

Rhine advised people to stop by any of the department’s seven locations to pick up a free screening test kit, which will determine if you have blood in your stool. 

“If you are seeing blood in your stool, we would definitely go ahead and refer you on to get a colonoscopy,” she said. “If not, and this is something you want to try, it’s a good starting point.” 

Rhine explained who should consider picking up one of these kits.

“If you’re anyone over the age of 45, and you’ve not had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years, or if you’re someone that’s at higher risk of colon cancer, meaning you’ve had a family member that’s had colon cancer, you can get one of these kits at home,” she said. “There is no prep involved in it. There are no dietary restrictions.”

The kit includes a test vial, collection paper, and a return package. 

“The kit is designed to be an at-home screening for colorectal cancer,” Rhine said. “It does not detect polyps, but it does give you an indication as to whether or not you do need to seek follow-up care.” 

You can also request a screening kit at southern7.org or on the Southern 7 mobile app.

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