Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department is proud to partner with the Colon Cancer Coalition and the Nebraska Colon Cancer Screening Program to help save lives in our service area. Each year we provide free colon cancer screening test kits (Fecal Occult Blood Test) to those in our service area. We partner with pharmacies, retail settings, libraries and other organizations to distribute nearly 400 test kits each year and follow up with kit participants on their results. Finding the signs of colon cancer early saves lives and we are committed to early detection and supplying colon cancer prevention information.
Free colon cancer screening kits are available at the following locations in our service area while supplies last:
Faith Regional Physician Services Family Health Clinic, Tilden
Faith Regional Physician Services Family Health Clinic, Battle Creek
Louderback Pharmacy, Madison
Wal-Mart Pharmacy, Norfolk
HY-VEE West Pharmacy, Norfolk
HY-VEE East Pharmacy, Norfolk
U-Save Pharmacy, Norfolk
Shop-ko Pharmacy, Norfolk
CVS Pharmacy, Norfolk
Norfolk Public Library, Norfolk
ELVPHD’s office, Norfolk
Tom’s Rexall Pharmacy, West Point
Shopko Hometown Pharmacy, West Point
ELVPHD’s office, Wisner
Wisner Apothecary, Wisner
We invite you to join our Colon Cancer Coalition if you want to take a more active role in preventing this disease. Our colon cancer coalition includes: Faith Regional Health Services, Northeast Nebraska Area Agency on Aging, St. Francis Memorial Hospital, Dinklage Medical Clinic, Oakland Mercy Hospital, and the American Cancer Society. The Coalition provides outreach and encourages people to get screened for colon cancer. Together these organizations prepare kits for distribution and raise awareness about the importance of screening.
Colon Cancer Facts
Colon cancer most often develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. It is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in Nebraska and over 900 Nebraskans are diagnosed with colon cancer each year. If you are 50 or older, it is recommended that you have routine colon screenings because over 90% of colorectal cancer cases are found in adults aged 50 and over. Treatment is most effective when colon cancer is found early, and screening can even prevent colon cancer by finding and removing polyps before they become cancer.
Risk factors include your age, sex, and family health history. Lifestyle choices, such as the use of tobacco and alcohol, what you eat, and sun exposure, also play a part. Other factors are linked to cancer-causing factors in your environment. Having many risk factors does not mean that you will get cancer, but having no risk factors does not mean that you are safe.
Signs and Symptoms
There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms for colon cancer including a change in bowel habits, blood in the stool, cramping or belly pain, weakness, fatigue and unexplained weight loss.
While getting screened is the most effective form of prevention, there are steps you can take to lower your risk:
- Get routine colon cancer screenings starting at age 50. People with an greater risk, such as those with a family history of colon cancer, should consider screening sooner.
- Eat a low-fat foods with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco products.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes at a time most days per week.
- Keep up a healthy weight.
Colon Cancer Health Profile 2016
The colon cancer screening kit project is funded by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
Smoking is the number one cause of lung cancer. Quitting smoking and protecting yourself and your family from secondhand smoke is the most important way to prevent lung cancer. However, radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. To help protect you and your family, Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department provides Radon test kits year round for $7/kit plus tax. We also provide information on how to fix existing homes to lower Radon levels and Radon resistant methods for new home construction.
Radon is a serious issue as it is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Radon is an invisible, odorless gas that occurs naturally in the soil and can enter homes through cracks and holes in the foundation, walls and water pipes. In Nebraska there are dangerously high levels of Radon and nearly one in two homes has reported levels well above the safe zone.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises that homes with Radon levels of 4 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of air or more be mitigated (fixed). Past testing has shown that the average radon levels in Burt, Madison, Stanton and Cuming Counties range from 7.5 to 10.4 pCi/L. Knowing the Radon level in your home is important because the problem can be fixed by installing a Radon mitigation system. Also, it is important for people building new homes to be informed about Radon resistant construction techniques. For further information please visit the EPA’s website to view the “Consumer’s Guide to Radon Reduction” at http://www.epa.gov/radon/pdfs/consguid.pdf.
2016 Radon results in Burt, Cuming, Madison and Stanton counties:
Over 340 home owners from Burt, Cuming, Madison, and Stanton counties picked up short-term home Radon test kits during January-March, 2016. Of the 219 test kits that were used and returned, results showed that the average amount of radon measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L) was 9.3 in Burt County, 6.4 in Cuming County, 7.8 in Madison County and 8.9 in Stanton County. In order to prevent poor health outcomes due to high radon levels, retesting or mitigation is recommended for results above 4.0 pCi/L. Of the test kits returned this year, almost two out of three homes tested (65%) had results over 4.0 pCi/L. The range for the kits sent in from the four counties during 2016 was 0.3 - 30.6 pCi/L.
The Radon program is possible through funding provided by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.