Rapides Foundation CMAP program to distribute free take-home colorectal cancer test kits

The Rapides Foundation’s Cenla Medication Access Program will be handing out free, take-home colorectal cancer test kits at four Central Louisiana locations in March as part of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The kits will be distributed March 11 in Jonesville; March 12 in Alexandria; March 16 in Bunkie and March 18 in Winnfield.

The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women should begin getting checkups for colorectal cancer at age 50, or sooner if advised by their doctor. Early detection means better treatment options and hope for a full life.

Eligible residents will be given an InSure Fecal Immunochemical Test, a stool test that is performed at home and then mailed to a lab. To qualify for the free kit, residents must be age 50 to 64. Their household income must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and they must be uninsured or under-insured.

Appointments are not needed. However, residents will be required to fill out paperwork to determine their eligibility. The times, dates and locations of the stops:

  • Thursday, March 11: 9 a.m.-noon, LaSalle Primary Healthcare Clinic at the Catahoula Medical Complex, Jonesville.
  • Friday, March 12: 9 a.m.-noon, Rapides Regional Medical Center, Alexandria.
  • Tuesday, March 16; 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Bunkie General Hospital Conference Room, Bunkie.
  • Thursday, March 18: 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Winn Community Health Center, Winnfield.

“We are trying to reach people who are of average risk for colon cancer, and who have lower incomes without a lot of medical resources,” said Trayce Snow, CMAP’s cancer screening specialist. People who are at higher-than-average risk will be advised to talk with their doctor about what tests to have, the benefits and risks of each test, and how often to schedule appointments.

The Cenla Medication Access Program is offering these kits in a partnership with the Louisiana FIT Colon Program, a statewide demonstration program whose goal is to prevent unnecessary disease, disability or premature death due to colorectal cancer.

CMAP is a program that provides free medications to residents who are unable to afford them. It administers the Cancer Screening Project, funded by the Foundation, to help individuals who meet specific income and insurance qualifications get checkups for breast, cervical and colon cancers. Central Louisiana is below the national average when it comes to screening for these three types of cancer.

For more information, contact Snow at 318-767-3027.

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