Loretto Hospital offering free colon cancer screenings this month

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Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cancer killer in the United States. But regular colorectal cancer screenings can save lives.

In recognition of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, The Loretto Hospital is offering free gastrointestinal (GI) screenings for uninsured or underinsured residents of Austin and surrounding communities throughout the month of March.

Colorectal cancer disproportionately affects the Black community, where the rates are the highest of any racial and ethnic group in the United States.

African Americans are 20 percent more likely to get colorectal cancer and about 40 percent more likely to die from it than most other groups, according to the American Cancer Society, which is why Loretto is working hard to remedy that disparity and bring to light the importance of preventive colon cancer screenings.

“Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful tools against the disease, as tests can find polyps before they turn into cancer,” Dr. Ilysa Diamond said.

“Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer when caught early, and The Loretto Hospital recognizes it’s more important than ever that everyone has access to and is receiving recommended screenings, regardless of race or insurance status.”

Loretto will also host a Facebook Live event on colorectal health Monday, March 8 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Community members are invited to join Dr. Diamond as she discusses colon health, including who is at risk and how to prevent the disease. Also, a patient who has had a colonoscopy will share their experience.

Those interested in attending can visit https://www.facebook.com/Lorettohospitalchicago/ on the day of the event.

Loretto is offering same-day GI screenings for those who qualify. For more information or to schedule a screening, call at 833-TLH-LOVE or visit https://www.lorettohospital.org.

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