Screening Offered for Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – Gonzales

Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in La.


(Gonzales) – March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – bringing attention to the type of cancer people are often too embarrassed to talk about. Colorectal cancer, or cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer death in Louisiana.* Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital want to change that.

Monday, March 14 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at K Mart, 115 South Airline Highway, Gonzales, staff from Mary Bird Perkins and St. Elizabeth Hospital will distribute free take home-kits – the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) – that detect blood in the stool. Colorectal cancer usually causes no symptoms in its earliest states, making screening vitally important. If you are seeing bright red blood with your bowel movements, you should go directly to your doctor. The take-home kit, which must be picked up by the user, is not a substitute for a colonoscopy but is just one form of colorectal cancer screening. The best method for colorectal cancer screening is through colonoscopy.

The primary risk factor for colorectal cancer is age. More than 90% of cases are diagnosed in individuals older than 50. Fifty is the recommended age to begin colorectal cancer screening unless there is a family history, in which case screening should start earlier. Obesity, sedentary life style, smoking and the amount of intake of red meat can all increase your risk of colorectal cancer. Check with your family doctor for the most appropriate screening option for your age and medical history.

For more information on free cancer screenings, call (225) 215- 1234.

*American Cancer Society Facts and Figures 2010            

About Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center has been fighting cancer for over 40 years with locations in Baton Rouge, Covington, Hammond, Houma and Gonzales. It has comprehensive cancer programs with Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge and St. Tammany Parish Hospital in Covington. These programs are accredited by the American College of Surgeons – the gold standard for community-based cancer care.

About St. Elizabeth Hospital

Sponsorship by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) has provided the means to expand and upgrade St. Elizabeth Hospital to meet the needs of the growing area it serves.  A 95-bed community hospital with 400+ team members and 100 physicians on staff, St. Elizabeth is one of four FMOLHS hospitals, including Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe and Our Lady of Lourdes in Lafayette.