Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital and Northwestern Grayslake are providing free colorectal screening kits for community members to recognize Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.
Patients can pick up screening kits at the registration desk inside Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital's Main Entrance or at the registration desk just inside the Northwestern Grayslake Cancer Center entrance. Nurses are available daily between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to answer questions about the kits and general colorectal screening guidelines. Please call 847-535-6186 or 847-535-7450 to speak with a nurse. Screening kits will be available through the end of the year while supplies last.
Among cancers that affect women and men, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States., according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In the United States in 2010, 132,000 people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 died from it. More than 90 percent of colorectal cancer cases occur in people 50 years or older.
However, colon cancer is often preventable. For those 50 years or older, taking a screening test for colorectal cancer could save their lives because screening tests can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening can also detect the cancer early when treatment often leads to a cure.
The CDC recommends that men and women with no family history of colon cancer begin taking the screening test annually at age 50. Men and women who do have a family history of colon cancer should begin screening at age 40, or 10 years before the age at which the family member was diagnosed. Additionally, a flexible sigmoidoscopy should be given every five years or a complete colonoscopy every 10 years. Talk to your doctor about whether the sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy is right for you.
For more information about colorectal cancer, please visit lfh.org/colocare.