VINCENNES, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — March is known as colorectal cancer awareness month and Good Samaritan Community Health Services encourages community members aged 45 and older to pick up a free take-home screening kit.

Good Samaritan Family Physician, Dr. Scott Stine says that colorectal awareness month is a good time to talk about the importance of screening.

“If we look at all the different types of cancer that affect human beings, one of the top three that affect both men and women is colorectal cancer,” Stine said.

One of the important things to consider about colorectal cancer is that it is one of the only preventable cancers as far as men and women.

“Meaning, that there is something we can do to intervene ahead of time before you get the cancer, that keeps you from getting it,” Stine added.

Unfortunately, lots of other cancers do not have a pre-cancerous state that can be recognized, or that we can prevent.

“The important thing to consider that makes colorectal cancer very special is that it occurs first as polyps, those polyps grow for many years, and if we can detect those polyps in the very early stage and remove those polyps, that actually prevents you from getting colon cancer in the future,” Stine said.

When it comes to colorectal screenings, patients have lots of options. From colonoscopies to take-home screening kits, even virtual options. Dr. Stine encourages patients to use the screener they are most comfortable with.

“Pick a method,” Stine said. “I think a lot of people feel like if I don’t do a colonoscopy, I’m not doing the best thing that I can do as far as colorectal cancer screening. But really, the take-home point here is that you should pick a method and do it at the appropriate age,” Stine added.

In the past, screenings were recommended at age 50, now doctors recommend getting screened at age 45. That age does not take into account family history.

“The reason for that is, as we’ve looked at the statistics of patients who get colon cancer, over the course of the past several decades, what we have found is that more and more patients are getting colorectal cancer at a younger age,” Stine said.

Doctor Stine says that it’s important to talk to your primary care provider because they cannot only tell you which screener will be best for you, but also take into consideration your personal and family medical history.

“It’s important to realize that waiting changes the statistics on that a lot,” Stine said. “So, please, pick a method and do that and then continue to follow up appropriately,” Stine added.

Good Samaritan is making it convenient for community members to screen. Good Samaritan Community Health Services encourages community members aged 45 and older to pick up a free colorectal cancer take-home screening kit at Community Health Services, 615 Dubois St. Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST.

In light of National Colorectal Awareness Month, Good Samaritan has also made the kits available on the following dates at the following locations:

  • Wednesday, March 8 | Vincennes Goodwill | 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. EST
  • Wednesday, March 15 | Washington Senior and Family Services | 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m. EST
  • Wednesday, March 15 | Petersburg Senior Center | 10 a.m. -11 a.m. EST
  • Wednesday, March 22 | Crawford County Senior Center | 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. CST
  • Wednesday, March 22 | Lawrenceville Senior Center | 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. CST