Colon cancer is the third leading cancer killer in Santa Barbara County and more than 60 percent of Americans over the age of 50 have never been screened for colon cancer.

To help address these issues and in support of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara wants to raise widespread awareness of this highly preventable disease through information and screening events. By participating in a screening, individuals can identify colon cancer early when it is most treatable, or help prevent it all together.

This weekend, two free screenings will take place at the following times and locations:

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Rooms A & B; enter from Castillo Street.

From 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 18, at St. Joseph’s Church, 1532 Linden Ave., Carpinteria.

A healthcare provider will be available at each location to hand out information about colon cancer screenings as well as FREE take-home FIT kits (fecal immunochemical tests) to those age 50 and older.

The FIT test can be done at home and once completed, individuals must return FIT’s in the provided envelope to the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara. Results will be given within two weeks of mailing in the test. Cancer Center staff will then inform individuals of the test results.

For more information about this event and/or the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara’s Colon Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Program, call Lisa Hashbarger, Health Education Coordinator at the Cancer Center, 805.898.2204.

Noozhawk staff writer Laurie Jervis can be reached at ljervis@noozhawk.com.

Laurie Jervis

Laurie Jervis, Noozhawk Columnist

Laurie Jervis can be reached at winecountrywriter@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are her own.