(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 seven locations in March 2019 during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.  Participants received a simple take-home Fecal Immunochemical (or Immunohistochemical) Test (FIT) test at no charge. Through the various venues, 145 FIT kits were distributed with 117 FIT kits returned. These screenings resulted in 76 percent negative results (requiring no follow-up) and 24 percent positive tests, which required additional follow-up. Those who had a positive result were contacted by a physician at St. Anthony’s, who shared the results, 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 2020.
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. Colorectal cancer in its early stages usually has no symptoms, so everyone 45 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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