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The Warren County Health Department is offering a new testing program called FIT screening. The acronym of the screening stands for fecal immunochemical test, which detects blood in the stool – a common symptom of colon cancer. Jenna Link explains why the testing was adopted by the health department:
“Every five years, we do a community health needs assessment for the health department. Through that process, we look at several health indicators – one of those being cancer rates for Warren County, and colorectal cancer is always top three for both men and women for instance rates in Warren County. We wanted to try to offer a program that would maybe increase our early detection rates,” Link said.
This new type of testing is a non-invasive procedure that individuals can do at home. There are no dietary restrictions for the FIT screening, and the cost is $20. It is a much cheaper option than a colonoscopy, and could alert people of possible risks they weren’t aware of, according to Carrie Green:
“This is one of those avenues to get more people doing the testing because it is so much less invasive and hopefully to funnel the high-risk individuals in to get them to see their doctors,” she said.
This FIT screening pilot program has made its way to 33 different health departments across Illinois so far. For more information, contact the Warren County Health Department at 734-1314.
written by Jackson Kane