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Results of Free Community Cancer Screenings

08/05/2009 - 12:00 PM

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Results of Free Community Cancer Screenings

Nearly 500 individuals in Central Minnesota were offered free colon cancer screenings in early March. These screenings were the result of a unique partnership between a colon cancer patient, the Minnesota Cancer Alliance and CentraCare Health System. There were 32 positive findings of blood in patient's stool with twelve participants receiving colonoscopies. Three of the 32 participants who consulted their physicians and underwent further testing were found to have adenomas. An adenoma is a type of polyp that, if left untreated, potentially could result in cancer. One participant was diagnosed with an early stage of rectal cancer and another with esophageal cancer.

This cancer screening program was available to the community by using a pharmacy drive-up window to obtain the free iFOBT colon cancer screening kit. They would then complete the test at home and return by mail. Their results would then be mailed to them.

The free screening was made possible through the support and gifts from the Hind Site Fund of CentraCare Health Foundation and the help of Coborn Cancer Center, the Minnesota Cancer Alliance, CentraCare Laboratory Services,  Digestive Center and Pharmacy.

Colon Cancer is the most preventable cancer, and had the highest modifiable risk factors. When colorectal cancer is found early and treated, the five year relative survival rate is 90 percent.

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