LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The American Cancer Society estimates there will be nearly 100,000 new cases of colon cancer in this country this year.
Scientists tell us there is a higher incidence of colon cancer in the rural and Hispanic population. But, thanks to a grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas, colon cancer screening is free to anyone age 50 or older, uninsured, who live in any of these nine counties: Lubbock, Crosby, Floyd, Garza, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lynn, or Terry county. The age limit may be reduced if there is a history of colon cancer in the family.
It's called the ACCION project, Organized through the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center.
All it takes is a phone call to find out if you're eligible to get this free screening.
Liesl Wyett is the ACCION program director. She says, "Once we do the screening which includes either an at home test which they can do in the privacy of their own home, 100 percent painless and private or if they are a higher risk, then we provide them with a colonoscopy and we have a partnership outside of that so if something is found, we can navigate them to treatment for whatever those illnesses are."
All of that is free to those who qualify.
The ACCION project is an acronym for Against Colon Cancer in Our Neighborhoods.
The number to call for more information is (806) 743-4086.
Community Recruitment Worker Lupe Villarreal can explain the screening guidelines either in English or in Spanish.
Lupe says she does not want language to be a barrier that keeps someone from taking advantage of this free screening.
Leisl says they have many community partners who are offering their help in this project.
She says for many people, it only involves simple at home testing. She says colonoscopy s the gold standard in colon cancer screening, but the at-home test kit is remarkable.
Leisl says, "It's proven to be effective if you do it on a regular annual basis to test for blood in the stool which could be an indication of polyps."
Just call (806) 743-4086 and someone will arrange a meeting either at your home or a convenient clinic to get you started in a screening program that will protect against colon cancer.