Free Colon Cancer Screening Kits Still Available from Regional West Community Health

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb., – Regional West Community Health is continuing to give away free colon cancer screening kits to Nebraska residents ages 50 to 74.  Those who receive the free test kits are required to have a health care provider.

The screening test is performed in the privacy of one’s own home and can reveal the presence of microscopic or invisible blood in the stool, or feces. By following instructions included in the kits, individuals obtain a stool sample and then return the sample to the lab where it is checked for blood.

Blood can be a sign of a problem in the digestive system, such as a growth, polyp, or cancer in the colon or rectum. Early detection may prevent polyps from becoming cancerous and may jumpstart early treatment, when it is most effective. When it is found early and treated, the five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is 85 to 90 percent.

“During the years in between recommended colonoscopy exams, the fecal occult blood test is a good option. Finding cancer early, when it's small and hasn't spread, often allows for more treatment options,” said internal medicine physician A. J. Magana, MD.

Enrollment forms for FOBT home testing kits and information about colorectal cancer are available by contacting Deb Keener, RN, Regional West Community Health nurse, at 308-630-1580 or by calling 308-436-6636.

Regional West Health Services in Scottsbluff, Neb., is the parent company of Regional West Medical Center, a 188-bed regional referral center and one of three Level II Trauma Centers in the state. As the region’s only tertiary referral medical center, Regional West offers care that spans more than 32 medical specialties provided by over 28 physician clinics. With nearly 300 providers, and over 2,000 employees, Regional West provides comprehensive and innovative health care services for the people of western Nebraska and the neighboring states of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming.