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  •  Free colorectal cancer screening kits available at Mohawk Valley Radiation Medicine throughout March

    Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and women. It is also one of the most preventable with proper screenings. In recognition of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Rome Memorial Hospital is offering free screening test kits that will provide at home results in two minutes.

    “Although the at-home test kit is not a substitute for a colonoscopy, this is an easy, no fuss-no muss test that we encourage people to do every year, for that added peace of mind,” said Amy Weakley, director of Mohawk Valley Radiation Medicine.

    Men and women 50 and older can pick up a free kit 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday in March, at Mohawk Valley Radiation Medicine, 107 E. Chestnut St., Suite #103. Appointments are not required. 

    The EZ DETECT test is designed to detect blood in the stool that can be caused by bleeding ulcers, hemorrhoids, colitis, diverticulitis, fissures or cancer of the colon, Weakley explained. 

    “You don’t have to collect a stool sample and bring it in for testing. You simply drop the test pad into the toilet after a bowel movement and see your results in two minutes,” she said.

    There are enough pads to test three consecutive bowel movements. Complete instructions and a results card are included in the kit. Participants should share their results with their personal physician

    “When colorectal cancer is found and treated early, it is usually curable,” said Board Certified Radiation Oncologist Linda Schicker, M.D. “Screenings are critical because most people with early colon cancer don’t have symptoms. Symptoms usually appear with more advanced disease.”

    According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the death rate from colorectal cancer has been going down for the past 15 year due in part to colorectal cancer screening. The ACS recommends that both men and women at average risk should begin colorectal screenings at age 50. Tests such as a colonoscopy every 10 years or flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years are better at detecting polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.

    For additional information about the free colorectal cancer screening, please call 315.338.0897.