In honor of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital will distribute free colorectal cancer screening kits to adults age 50 and greater from March 21 to 25.
Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is one of the most preventable diseases, yet it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Of the more than 145,000 people diagnosed each year, approximately 50,000 will die from the disease. Most colon cancers begin as polyps which can be detected with a colonoscopy; so early detection is the key to prevention.
Colorectal cancer tests are categorized into two groups—tests that look inside the body: sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy; and tests done on stool samples. The fecal occult blood test being distributed detects blood in the stool, which is common with cancer of the colon or rectum. If blood is found, the patient should get a colonoscopy.
Although the fecal occult blood test is an acceptable annual screening for colorectal cancer, it is not the preferred method. The most comprehensive screening is a colonoscopy and, according to the American Cancer Society, should be completed every ten years, beginning at the age of 50.
The colorectal cancer screening kits will be available at several locations daily, March 21 to March 25, including:
- Henry Mayo: Hospital Information desk in the main lobby; 23845 McBean Parkway, Valencia, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
- Valencia: Henry Mayo Outpatient Lab, 23929 McBean Parkway, Suite 107; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5:30 p.m.
- Valencia: Henry Mayo Outpatient Lab, 25775 McBean Parkway, Suite 102; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.
- Valencia: Henry Mayo Outpatient Lab, Tourney Medical Plaza Building, 27420 Tourney Road, Suite 140; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5 p.m.
- Canyon Country: Henry Mayo Outpatient Lab, 27141 Hidaway Avenue, Suite 202; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5:30 p.m.
- Newhall: Henry Mayo Outpatient Lab, 23928 Lyons Avenue, Suite 104; 8 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-5:30 p.m.
- Newhall: Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, 22900 Market Street; 8 a.m.–2 p.m.
Anyone interested in participating can pick up a free screening kit at one of the above locations, carefully read all instructions, complete the test at home, and return it to Henry Mayo's Information Desk for laboratory processing by April 8. Complete instructions will be included with the screening kit.
To locate a physician who can provide more information on colon cancer screenings and prevention, call Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital's physician referral Line at 661-253-8888 or visit www.scvdocs.com