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Colon Cancer: A Deadly Killer Of Idahoans

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By Brittany Cooper

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV) Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in Idaho, but if caught early, this cancer is treatable.

Take home test kits and colonoscopy screenings are your first defense against colon cancer.

Idaho ranks as one of the lowest–ranked states in the nation for colorectal cancer screenings.

Melanie Gonzales, Community Cancer Education Coordinator, Mountain States Tumor Institute says, "colon cancer kind of got a stigma associated with it. People don't really want to talk about it and don't feel comfortable talking about it. I think we're getting better, there's been a lot of emphasis on colon cancer awareness and prevention."

But health experts recommend everyone 50 and older get a colonoscopy.

Laura Stewart, Public Relations, St. Luke's Magic Valley adds, "that's provided you don't have any family history of that in addition to those risk factors that may give you more of an increased risk of colon cancer."

St. Luke's has helped to alleviate stress and discomfort over take–home stool tests. These free kits are easy to use and you receive results in two minutes. There's no laboratory processing required.
You just drop the tissue paper into the toilet and will turn blue if it detects blood.

Gonzales says, "and if it detects blood, it's something you'll want to let your doctor know. And then you flush everything away, so there's nothing to take in, nothing to send to the doctor, put in the mail."

This test does not take away the importance of a colonoscopy as "the colonoscopy is really the best way to check and see if you have colon cancer because they at that time can also remove polyps which is what turns malignant into cancerous," contributes Gonzales.

A proactive approach to taking control of your health.

Mark your calendars for next Thursday, March 28th. Dr. Brian Berk will present a free Colon Cancer Awareness Seminar at St. Luke's Magic Valley. To register for this free event, please call (208) 814-0095.

Also if you would like a free kit, you'll find the information on the St. Luke's website at stlukesonline.org/freekit


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