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Check Up 13

Welcome to Check Up 13, in partnership with Ascension St. Vincent

WTHR and co-anchor and health reporter Anne Marie Tiernon have partnered with Ascension St. Vincent, part of Ascension, one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S., on an initiative called Check Up 13. The goal of Check Up 13 is to educate and encourage Indiana residents to take a proactive role in their own health. Check Up 13 includes news stories that will air on the 13th of every month during WTHR's Health Beat segment. The monthly program will highlight providers and patient success stories at Ascension St. Vincent and focus on the health topic screening, event or promotion for that month.

Please read the details about this month's Check Up 13 below. On the 13th of each month, you can register by filling out the form at the bottom of the page or by calling 866-UCHECK13 (866-824-3251)

An at-home kit that could save your life: colon cancer screening tests

Colon and rectal cancers are common, uncomfortable, and can be deadly.

The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 21 for men and 1 in 25 for women, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). It's the third most diagnosed cancer, excluding skin cancers.

The good news? Colorectal cancer is a curable cancer, especially when caught early. The rate of people diagnosed each year has dropped overall since the mid-1980s, mainly because of increased screening by colonoscopy and stool testing.

What is colon cancer?

Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or the rectum and most often develops slowly over several years.

It often starts as a small non-cancerous polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. Once polyps grow and become big, they can change into cancer and start growing out of control, spreading to other parts of the body. The chance of a polyp changing into a cancer depends upon the kind of polyp it is.

Screenings are crucial to the prevention, early detection, and treatment of colon cancer. When polyps or cancer are found in their early stages, the cure rate is close to 100%.

How is colon cancer diagnosed?

Ascension St. Vincent offers colorectal cancer screenings in the form of colonoscopies or at-home kits. Colonoscopy is a procedure that lets your healthcare provider check the inside of your entire large intestine or colon using a long, flexible tube (colonoscope). The tube has a light and a tiny camera on one end. It is put in your rectum and moved into your colon while you are under deep sedation.

Most people should get their first colonoscopy at age 45 and continue receiving the screening once every 10 years or sooner. You may need to get a colonoscopy at a younger age or more frequently if you have a family history of colorectal cancers, develop symptoms, or if your doctor finds a polyp.

Colon kits are offered to test the stool for hidden blood in the stool that can be shedding from a big polyp or early cancer. They are mailed with simple instructions along with return postage. You collect a small stool sample from the comfort of your home and submit the sample for testing using the enclosed postage. If an abnormality is identified, Ascension St. Vincent will follow-up and help you schedule a primary care appointment to determine the appropriate treatment options.

Special Offer for Check Up 13

Ascension St. Vincent is offering home colon screening kits and colonoscopy scheduling as part of this month's Check Up 13. If you are between 45-75 years old, consider completing a colorectal cancer screening of your choice either by requesting the free at-home test kit or scheduling your screening colonoscopy through Check Up 13.

If you are having ongoing gastrointestinal complaints such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, or blood in the stool, the at-home colon test kit is not appropriate for you. You are advised to talk to your doctor or schedule a colonoscopy appointment.

  • Ascension St. Vincent Anderson
  • Ascension St. Vincent Carmel
  • Ascension St. Vincent Fishers
  • Ascension St. Vincent Indianapolis
To qualify:
  • Must be 45-75 years old
  • Must have not had either a colonoscopy within the past 10 years or an at-home stool test within the last 12 months

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