(EFFINGHAM, IL) – HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital is concerned about the health of the community and demonstrates this through many area health screenings. One recent initiative of St. Anthony’s Cancer Committee and Community Programs department offered free colorectal screening kits to promote colorectal health for area residents. According the most recent 2018 community health needs assessment, the colorectal cancer incidence rate for Effingham and Jasper counties combined is 57 people per 100,000 population compared to the state rate of 45.3 and the national rate of 40.59. The Healthy People 2020 target is 38.7 people per 100,000 population.
This free community program was offered at four locations in March 2018 during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month -- the Jasper County Health Department, Effingham Rural King, Effingham Martin’s IGA and St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital’s lobby. Participants received a simple take-home Fecal Immunochemical (or Immunohistochemical) Test (FIT) test at no charge. Through the various venues, 87 FIT kits were distributed with 66 FIT kits returned. These screenings resulted in 84.8 percent negative results (requiring no follow-up) and 15.2 percent positive tests, which required additional follow-up. Those who had a positive result were contacted by a nurse practitioner at St. Anthony’s, who shared the results with, sent their results to them and to their primary care physician, and encouraged them to get further testing. The next colorectal cancer screening event will be held in the spring of 2019.
Colorectal cancer screenings have been proven to save lives. Colorectal cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths when men and women are combined. The vast majority of cases of colorectal cancer occur in people age 50 and older. Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 50 and older should get tested. Together, we can help to eliminate colorectal cancer as a major public health problem.

Media Contact

Brad Ochiltree

Manager, Marketing & Communications
HSHS Illinois
Office: (217) 464-1161

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