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March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. One in 20 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Colon cancer is currently the second leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the United States. Did you know that a simple test can help detect colon cancer early on and that the test can be done right in the privacy of your own home? It’s called Fecal Immunochemical Test or FIT. FIT offers patients a more convenient alternative to invasive colonoscopies. A FIT can be obtained from any Access Health Louisiana (AHL) clinic. Here’s how it works: you take the test kit home and obtain the stool sample in the privacy of your own home. Then, you turn in the kit to your clinic for lab testing. Within a few days, your doctor knows the results.FIT screening tests can detect hidden blood in the lower intestines which can be an early sign of cancer. It tends to be a more accurate test with fewer false positive results than other tests on the market. It’s important to remember that FIT screenings do not diagnose cancer. FIT can catch warning signs of cancer early, when the cancer is easiest to treat. “Sixty-percent of colorectal cancer could be prevented with screening,” says Nurse Practitioner Cynthia Bartholomae at the St. Bernard Community Health Center. Testing is recommended for patients ages 50 to 75. While most insurance companies, including Medicaid and Medicare cover testing in this age range, some patients with a family history can be tested as early as age 45, but the testing won’t be covered by your insurance. To obtain your FIT today, call 1-866-530-6111 to find the AHL clinic closest to you.