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SEARHC Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital providing free colorectal cancer screenings in June

May 29 2015

SITKA – Throughout the month of June, SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital is offering free fecal immunochemical tests (FIT). The test detects hidden blood in the stool which can be a sign of precancerous polyps or colon cancer.

The FIT is done in the privacy of one’s home with a kit from a medical provider. Since vitamins and foods do not affect the FIT, there are no drug or dietary restrictions.

Even those with no family history of colorectal cancer or other risk factors such as obesity, smoking, or poor diet can get colon cancer. Getting screened is critical to finding colon cancer early. Discovering and removing precancerous polyps can even prevent people from ever getting the disease.

“SEARHC is excited to promote this simple test as a way of bringing vital health screening to all Sitkans, whether they are patients at Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital on a regular basis or not.” said Martha Pearson, Director of Health Promotion for SEARHC.

All Sitka residents age 50, and older who meet certain, medical, criteria are eligible to receive this free test. The results will be shared with the individual and his or her primary care provider. For more information about getting tested, Sitkans can call 966-8438.

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