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

SJMO Offers Free Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits - Archived
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St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Offers Free

Colorectal Cancer Screening Kits During March

Sixth 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 31 at more than 70 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 12 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.

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