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Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Screening

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States and is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths in men and women in the United States, but it is also largely preventable. It is important to have regular colonoscopies after age 45 through 75 to detect polyps and remove them before they turn into cancer. Colorectal Cancer is preventable and highly curable when it is found early.

From the time the first abnormal cells start to grow into polyps, it usually takes about 10-15 years for them to develop into Colorectal Cancer, which is why it is important to get screened regularly. You may be at an increased risk if there has been colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer in your family, or you have inflammatory bowel disease, such as, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or you have a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.

The Marion County Health Department is offering FREE Colorectal Cancer Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kits. It is recommended that adults begin screenings at age 45-75. This non-invasive screening is for anyone 45-75 years of age who has NOT had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years, a sigmoidoscopy in the last 5 years, or history of colon cancer or prior colon resection. If your tests detects blood in the stool then, a referral will be made to your health care provider to determine the cause of the abnormal test result. The American Cancer Society and Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you repeat FIT screenings once every year or receive a colonoscopy once every 10 years so that polyps can be detected and removed early.

Call the health department at 618-548-3878 to see if a FIT screening is right for you.