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.

Colorectal Screenings

Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be referred to separately as colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where it starts. Most colorectal cancers develop slowly over several years.

Before a cancer develops, a growth of tissue or tumor usually begins as a non-cancerous polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. A tumor is abnormal tissue and can be benign or malignant. A polyp is a benign, non-cancerous tumor. Some polyps can change into cancer but not all do. The chance of a polyp changing into a cancer depends upon the kind of polyp it is.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States combined of both men and women. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 147,950 new cases of colorectal cancer in 2020 and expects more than 53,200 deaths.

Screening for the prevention and early detection of colon cancer is crucial to improve outcomes. Colon screenings have led to a decline in the number of deaths from the disease over the past 20 years. When polyps or cancer are found in their early stages, the cure rate is close to 100 percent.

Ascension St. Vincent offers colorectal cancer screenings in the form of colonoscopy 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 tiny camera on one end. It is put in your rectum and moved into your colon.

Colon kits are mailed with simple instructions along with return postage. The patient collects a small stool sample from the comfort of his or her home, and submits 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.

Ascension St. Vincent Cancer Care is offering a LIMITED number of colonoscopies or home colon kits as part of March's Check Up 13. If you are at least 50-years-old and have one of the following risk factors, you may be at risk and should consider completing colorectal cancer screening:

  • Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • Personal medical history of: colorectal polyps; breast, uterine and/or ovarian cancer; ulcerative colitis and/or Crohn's disease; inflammatory bowel disease
  • Sustained period of bleeding with bowel movements or change in bowel habits
  • Smoking
  • Overweight
  • Type 2 diabetes