Test Kits Available
March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, designed to put a spot light on the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
“Most people know that the best method of screening for colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy,” said Jennifer Lee-Steckman, Director of Personal Health at the Garrett County Health Department. “We are now providing a different option for those who decide not to have colonoscopy. FIT, or fecal immunochemical test, is another method of screening.”
FIT detects human hemoglobin from blood in stool samples, and is a useful screening test for detecting primarily lower gastrointestinal issues that cause bleeding. If FIT is the only method of screening used, annual testing is recommended. No dietary or medicinal restrictions are required for this test. However, patients should closely follow the instructions for use.
“The Health Department is offering testing kits to the public in an effort to increase colorectal cancer screening,” Lee-Steckman said. “The kit can be picked up at the Health Department and completed in the comfort of your own home. The completed test card then needs to be mailed in to the Health Department for developing.”
The kits are available to average risk individuals age 50 and older who do not wish to have a screening colonoscopy. Positive test should be followed up with a physician for further evaluation because blood in the stool can be caused by a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
For more information, or to see if you qualify, please call 301-334-7770 or 301-895-3111.
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2017
Contact Person: Diane Lee, PIO, 301-334-7689