Free colorectal at-home cancer screening kits will be distributed at a drive-thru event in August at Decatur Memorial Hospital. The kits will be distributed from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at the DMH Cancer Care Center, 210 W. McKinley Ave. Participants should expect to stay in their vehicles, answer a few questions and receive their kits to take home. The kit contains instructions and supplies for participants to collect a stool sample.
The sample is used to test for blood in the stool. Participants return their completed kits via a postage-paid envelope, with test results sent by mail in three to four weeks. Kits will be available while supplies last.
“Finding colon cancer at an early stage dramatically increases overall survival,” said Rachael Ward, oncology outreach coordinator at Decatur Memorial Hospital. “If polyps are found early and removed, cancers can be prevented.”
Colorectal cancer screening kit distribution events will be held at Memorial Health hospitals and facilities in Springfield, Jacksonville, Lincoln and Taylorville throughout August. The times and dates at each location are: Jacksonville Memorial Hospital: 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, and 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 5, 1600 W. Walnut St. Lincoln Memorial Hospital: 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 5, 200 Stahlhut Drive, 217-605-5008. Springfield locations: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at the Memorial Drive-Thru Lab, 320 E. Carpenter St. and from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at the Simmons Cancer Institute, 315 W. Carpenter St. Taylorville Memorial Hospital: 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 12, drive up to the hospital’s main entrance, 201 E. Pleasant St., 217-707-5258.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. If detected early, 90 percent of those deaths are preventable. People who are at average risk for colorectal cancer should start regular screenings at age 45 and continue through the age of 75, according to the American Cancer Society.