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Media Contact: Heidi Press, Public Relations Specialist St. Joseph Mercy Oakland 44405 Woodward Avenue Pontiac, MI 48341 248-858-6662

Free Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits
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St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Offers Free Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits During March

Fifth Consecutive Year for Hospital’s Colorectal Cancer Screening

Pontiac, Mich.--In support of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland (SJMO) will once again offer free colorectal cancer screening kits to community residents.  The easy-to-use personal screening kits will be available for pick up March 1 through April 1 at 78 churches, agencies and physician offices conveniently located throughout Oakland County.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, claiming nearly 50,000 lives each year.  About 5,000 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed in Michigan this year, according to the American Cancer Society.  The good news is that, when detected early, colorectal cancer is 90 percent curable with treatment. 

Both men and women are at risk for developing colorectal cancer, with individuals age 50 and over at greater risk of contracting the disease.  A family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps also increases the risk.  Others at higher risk include those with a history of a bowel disease, such as colitis or Crohn’s, and those who are African American.

Each of the free screening kits includes a simple non-invasive Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT).  The test can be completed in the privacy of a person’s home. No special diet is required. The procedure requires collecting one sample and returning it to SJMO by April 13 via a postage-paid pouch envelope supplied with the kit.  SJMO will test the returned sample in its laboratory.  Results will be communicated in confidence to each participant. 

This is the fifth consecutive year SJMO has offered free community-wide colorectal screening. 

Cancer Care at SJMO offers a multidisciplinary continuum of advanced cancer treatment, from acute inpatient care to outpatient services, cutting-edge diagnostic and surgical options and award-winning palliative care. SJMO’s program accreditation with commendation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer demonstrates that the hospital meets the highest quality care standards.

SJMO holds National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC) accreditation for its breast cancer program, and the hospital’s Breast Imaging Center was one of the first Breast Imaging Center of Excellence programs in the state recognized by the American College of Radiology. 

SJMO’s cancer program is a member of the Mercy Cancer Network.  As one of Michigan’s largest cancer networks, the Mercy Cancer Network delivers advanced medicine to local communities, offering the latest in cancer diagnostics, clinical research trials and therapeutic technology.

To learn more about the colorectal screening and community pick-up locations, call 800-372-6094. Download a list of colorectal kit locations near you.

About St. Joseph Mercy Oakland
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a 443-bed comprehensive, community, teaching hospital and a long-time leader in health care in Oakland County.  Founded in 1927 by the Sisters of Mercy, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has won numerous local and national awards for patient safety, quality and performance, and consistently ranks in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationwide.  A member of the Saint Joseph Mercy Health System and the Mercy Cancer Network, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland is a technologically leading hospital that combines advanced medicine and personal care to assist patients on their path to wellness. With dedicated physicians, nurses and hospital staff committed to providing quality care throughout the patient stay, St. Joseph Mercy Oakland has truly personalized the patient experience.

About Saint Joseph Mercy Health System
Saint Joseph Mercy Health System (SJMHS) is a newly expanded health care organization serving southeast Michigan.  Health coverage spans six counties, including Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne. It includes 537-bed St. Joseph Mercy in Ann Arbor, 443-bed St. Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac, 304-bed St. Mary Mercy in Livonia, 136-bed St. Joseph Mercy Livingston in Howell, 119-bed St. Joseph Mercy Port Huron, 113-bed Chelsea Community Hospital and 74-bed St. Joseph Mercy Saline.  Combined, the seven hospitals are licensed for 1,726 beds, have five outpatient health centers, five urgent care facilities, more than 25 specialty centers; employ more than 14,000 individuals and have a medical staff of nearly 2,700 physicians. 

A member of Trinity Health, the nation’s fourth largest Catholic health care organization, SJMHS is committed to providing a remarkable patient care experience by using leading edge technology in a comforting and healing environment   As a mission based organization, Saint Joseph Mercy Health System provides approximately $100 million in community benefit to the communities it serves each year.