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March 10, 2014

NRHS offers free at-home colorectal cancer screening

NORMAN — March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. This cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Screening is an important step in diagnosing and treating cancer. But many people don’t get screened regularly, especially for colorectal cancer. Transportation, money and time are all barriers to screening.

Norman Regional wants to remove those barriers by offering a free, at-home screening kit. Residents should follow the instructions included in the kit to send in their samples. NRH will test samples and inform individuals of test results.

Walgreens pharmacies in Norman and Moore and the Physicians and Surgeons Pharmacy in Norman have partnered with NRHS to distribute the kits to the community. These kits are available while supplies last. Complete and submit the test within two weeks of receiving the kit.

Within three to four weeks of returning their kit, participants will receive a letter with their results. If they provide the name and address of their physician, Norman Regional can mail him or her a copy of the results, as well.

Participants are encouraged to discuss the findings of this test with their physician, regardless of the results.

Colorectal cancer risk factors include being over the age of 50, a personal history of colorectal polyps, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, and having type 2 diabetes.

In addition, the health system provides community resources such as free cancer screenings like this one and support groups for those battling cancer.

Norman Regional Hospital is the first hospital in Oklahoma to have an American Cancer Society Resource Center. This center provides free support to cancer patients, their families and caregivers.

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