Medical Centers, Eckerd and WXII Join Forces to Fight Colon Cancer

March 6, 2002

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer death. The reason for the high mortality rate is the majority of colorectal cancers are not detected until they have spread to other areas of the body. While these statistics may be daunting, colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be screened effectively and successfully treated if detected early.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, High Point Regional Hospital, Lexington Memorial Hospital, Eckerd Drugs and WXII are joining forces to provide a month-long free colorectal cancer screening campaign for area residents.

Beginning March 11, free fecal occult blood test (FOBT) screening kits are available at Triad-area Eckerd Drugs. Participants can pick up a free kit at Eckerd, complete the test and mail it in to have the test evaluated. Results will be mailed to each participant.

"This is an important community service project," said Frank Torti, M.D. director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University. "This screening provides an easy, free method of finding potential colon cancers."

More than 30,000 test kits have been purchased by the medical centers.

Contact: Jonnie Rohrer, 336-716-6972 or Mark Wright, 336-716-4587

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