For the past five years, Ascension Via Christi’s Cancer Outreach and Risk Assessment program has offered colorectal screening kits, while supplies last, at no cost to anyone 45 and older.
In 2021, the program distributed 163 kits, of which a dozen of the returned stool samples tested positive for blood, requiring additional follow-up by a nurse navigator.
Nine participants worked with nurse navigator Lisa Schmidt to schedule their colonoscopies, which were paid for by a grant from the Colon Cancer Coalition, if they were uninsured or otherwise unable to cover the cost. Seven participants were found to have no evidence of cancer, while two had polyps that were removed before they had the opportunity to become cancerous.
“For them, the screening and follow-up colonoscopy may well have been a life-saver,” says Oncology nurse navigator Lisa Schmidt, RN. “Colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful weapons against colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death for men and women combined.”
Schmidt, who had two pre-cancerous polyps removed during her first colonoscopy 10 years ago and has had no findings during the two she has undergone since then, says taking part in the screening is easy.
Grant funding from the Colon Cancer Coalition for the annual screening program is made possible by dollars raised by the annual Get Your Rear in Gear – Wichita run/walk.
“We are thrilled to support the efforts of at Ascension Via Christi to screen Wichita and the surrounding community for colorectal cancer,” says J.J. Sorochty, local volunteer event director for Get Your Rear in Gear – Wichita. “A follow-up colonoscopy after a positive stool-based screening can be a huge barrier for some patients. We are proud that funds raised at Get Your Rear in Gear – Wichita can support patients who otherwise may not be able to afford this life-saving screening.”REGISTER FOR GET YOUR REAR IN GEAR - WICHITA