Watertown— Being that March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, the deadline to pick up free colorectal screening kits have been extended until March 31.
Throughout Jefferson County, along with locations in Lowville and Gouverneur, free screening kits are available at every Kinney Drugs location. Detailed instructions are provided for each fecal occult blood test (FOBT), along with a return-mailing envelope.
In order to receive results, folks picking up their free colorectal screening kits must provide postage and mail the screening kits to the P.O. Box on the envelope by the 30th of April. “We started free colon screenings in February and extended it due to the numbers being low,” said Community Executive of the American Cancer Society, Don Boshart. Mr. Boshart was an American Cancer Society volunteer for 8 years and has been the Community Executive for 10 years now.
The American Cancer Society teamed up with Samaritan, JCC, Kinney Drugs, and the Cancer Services Program to provide education and awareness to the community regarding colon cancer. The Cancer Services Program provides free screenings for under-insured or non-insured members of the community. According to American Cancer Society, in Jefferson County out of the 56 colorectal cancer cases, 19 have resulted in death. In Jefferson County, colorectal amounts to 9.8% of all cancer cases and 9.2% result in death.
Within New York State, 46% of men catch colon cancer early, compared to 45.5% of early detection in men within Jefferson County. Early detection for women in New York State is at 44%, compared to 36.5% of women in Jefferson County. “This data reflects that less people are detecting colon cancer early within our area,” said Mr. Boshart. According to Boshart, early detection and colorectal screenings is key to preventing colon cancer.