Karmanos, McLaren offer free, easy-to-use colorectal cancer screening kits at the Summer Safety Fair

Among the Native population, colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer and is the second leading cause of death among men and women, according to the American Indian Cancer Foundation. There are usually no symptoms until it’s too late. Regular screenings can detect polyps in the colon early, before they turn into cancer.

Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Central Michigan will provide colorectal cancer screening kits at Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan’s Summer Safety Fair on Saturday, June 11 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The fair takes place at the Tribal Public Service building, 6954 East Broadway in Mt. Pleasant. Attendees will be able to pick up a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit to conduct a screening from the comfort and privacy of their own home.

“We are excited to be able to provide FIT tests at the Summer Safety Fair this year,” said Laura Love, community health education specialist at McLaren. Laura will also be leading the distribution of the FIT kits at the event.

“FIT kits are easy, painless and a convenient way to test for signs of possible cancer. There’s no question that colorectal cancer screenings save lives, and this is a great opportunity to participate in a free screening that has the potential to detect cancer.”

FIT kits are simple to use and can be used in the privacy of the person’s home at a time that is convenient for them. The kit tests for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer. Each test comes with instructions on how to collect the sample, all the necessary supplies needed to collect the sample, and a prepaid envelope to mail the results back to the lab. Participants can expect their results within 2-3 weeks of mailing in their kit. If results are abnormal, Karmanos specialists will provide options for further testing and discuss next steps for treatment.

The key to preventing colorectal cancer and finding it early is regular screening, which starts at age 45 for average risk adults. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (Task Force) recommends screening for adults at average risk every 10 years until age 75. Adults 76 years old and older should talk to their doctor about screening.

“It is so important to have cancer screenings at public events where community members can learn about their options to support a healthy lifestyle,” said Hayley Thompson, Ph.D., faculty supervisor of the Office of Cancer Health Equity and Community Engagement at Karmanos Cancer Institute and associate director of community outreach engagement at Wayne State University. “The support from Nimkee Memorial Wellness Center leadership to have Karmanos Cancer Institute at McLaren Central Michigan present at the fair to educate people about colorectal cancer in their communities and the importance of screenings could help save someone’s life.”

For more information about colorectal screening, visit karmanos.org/colorectalscreening.