Alliance Launches New Project to Increase Colon Cancer Screenings

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Eastern Oregon Healthy Living Alliance (EOHLA) has launched a new project to increase colon cancer screenings in Morrow, Sherman, and Gilliam counties.

Annual screenings with a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit, which is a screening kit that can be done at home that checks for blood in the stool, are recommended annually for adults aged 50-75.

Free screening kits will be provided at various locations in each participating county. Anyone 50-75 can pick up a kit, complete the kit in the privacy of their own home, and return the kit at designated locations.  Completed kits returned with the provided survey card will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card, where 6 will be given away in each of Sherman and Gilliam counties and 12 will be given away in Morrow County.

Free screening kits are provided in the following Morrow County locations:

  • Columbia River Health Services  in Boardman
  • Pioneer Memorial Clinic in Heppner
  • Ione Community Clinic
  • Irrigon Medical Clinic

According to the Oregon Health Authority, colorectal cancer is preventable. Routine screening can reduce deaths through the early diagnosis and removal of precancerous polyps.  Screening saves lives, but only if people get tested.  One in three Oregonians ages 50-75 are not being screened as recommended.

“EOHLA is committed to delivering strategies that improve community health throughout the entire region,” said Andrea Fletcher, EOHLA co-founder and board member representing Morrow County. “With the shifting emphasis in the healthcare system toward prevention practices to help keep people healthy, screenings, such as colon cancer screenings, can prevent many serious illnesses before they occur.”

Funding for the project is provided in part by funded through the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute Community Partnership Program.

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