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Colorectal Cancer Screening Now Easier

Woodstock Mayor Pat Sobeski, representatives from the Woodstock Hospital and Oxford County Public Health 'Made the Pledge' to get screened for colorectal cancer Wednesday (in top photo). The Woodstock Hospital lobby had a photo station set-up capturing all those that pledged. Vice President of Patient Care at the hospital Jayne Menard was more then willing to take it. "My mother has a history of colon cancer. It was caught very early and she was completely cured. So, as a nurse and also as someone whose own mother had cancer, I realize the importance of cancer checks and the importance of early detection and the benefits of that," said Menard. Sheila Densham with the South West Regional Cancer Program says people 50 and older should be getting screened. "It's really about getting more people to participate in screening so that we can see the mortality rates go down. Currently, Ontario has the highest colorectal cancer rates in Canada and we have a very low participation rate, less than 30 percent of people eligible are participating in screening," said Densham. But they are making colorectal screening easier. A take home kit is now available (in bottom photo). "You get a requestition and one of these kits from your family physician or one of the other practitioners. You take it home and you do a stool sample over three bowel movements and then you put it in the mail. It gets tested for fecal occult blood, which is a very minute trace of blood that's not visible to the naked eye," said Densham. Woodstock Mayor Pat Sobeski thinks the take home kit will be an effective way to get more people screened. "With hospital care there's a lot of innovation taking place. You can find out your blood sugar by just taking it at home. So this is just a continuation of doing testing in the privacy of your own home. It provides an indication that maybe you should seek more professional guidance," said Sobeski. Home tests can be picked up from your family physician or through TeleHealth Ontario.

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