WICHITA, Kansas – Via Christi Health will be offering free colon cancer screening kits. The in-home testing kits can be an important first step in identifying potential problems.

“It’s a very simple step, and you can do it in the privacy of your own home,” said Maggie Ward, oncology nurse navigator at Via Christi Health.

More than 5,000 kits are being handed out to anyone who has concerns about colon cancer. The tests come with simple instructions and require no major prep.

“This is a first step especially for individuals who are starting to see signs, whether it be blood or a change in your bowel movements. Come get a kit and get something started,” said Ward.

The most important thing you can do is get a colonoscopy at the age recommended by your doctor. That age is around 50. The tests may help spot those at higher risk.

The staff at Via Christi have made it simple.

All you do is walk up to the ladies at the reception desk and ask for a colorectal cancer screening kit.

“The kit includes three cards in which you collect three stool samples, put a little bit on each card, mail it in, and the cards are very indescript,” said Ward.

It is a topic many are not always comfortable with, but Leon’s Journey has helped promote the conversation.

“It’s the reason we’re doing this whole collaboration because the interest has piqued.”

The free test kits will be available at the following Wichita locations:

  • Via Christi Clinic at 1947 Founders’ Circle, 3311 E. Murdock and 13213 W. 21st, 8 a.m – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Via Christi Hospital St. Francis, St. Joseph and St. Teresa information desk and/or gift shops, daily
  • Victory in the Valley’s Victory House, 3755 E. Douglas, 8:30 a.m. – noon and 12:30 – 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

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