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Cancer Centers offer low-cost colorectal cancer screenings

The Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare are offering low-cost, take-home colorectal cancer screening kits to promote the need for early detection and diagnosis of this treatable disease. March is National Colorectal Cancer Month and throughout the month the Cancer Centers located at Flagstaff Medical Center and at the Sedona campus of Verde Valley Medical Center will offer screening kits from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

With 655,000 deaths worldwide per year, the National Cancer Institute reports colorectal cancer as the fifth most common form of cancer in the U.S. and the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the Western world.

"The most interesting detail related to this fact is that almost 80 percent of all colorectal cancers could either be prevented all together, or if diagnosed early enough, the long-term survival rates would double from what they currently are," said Jeff Axtell, director of Oncology Services, Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare.

The screening is recommended for both men and women over the age of 50, those who have a family history of the disease or who may have colorectal polyps, and individuals who have chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The screening kit is a simple take-home kit that checks for blood in the stool. The cost to process the kits for lab results is $10.

The Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare have two locations. In Flagstaff, the Cancer Center is located at 1200 N. Beaver Street on Flagstaff Medical Center's West Campus; in Sedona, the Cancer Center is located at 3700 W. Highway 89A on Verde Valley Medical Center's Sedona Campus.

Additionally, Angelo Trujillo, M.D., who specializes in the prevention and treatment of colon cancer, will be presenting two community lectures on the importance of regular screenings. The free lectures are at 5:30 p.m., today at the Cancer Center at FMC; and at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 24 in the McGee Auditorium at FMC.

For more information about this screening or for other cancer-related questions, call the Cancer Centers of Northern Arizona Healthcare at 800 854-7744 or visit

For those concerned about the $10 fee, North Country HealthCare sponsors free Fit at Fifty colorectal cancer screening for qualifying men and women over 50 years of age. To see if you qualify for the free screening, contact North Country HealthCare at 800 687-5798, ext. 2370.

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