Time is running out to get a free cancer screening

Time is running out to get a potentially life saving, free cancer screening in Ohio.

Fifty hospitals across the state are now testing colon cancer patients and their relatives for Lynch Syndrome, a genetic mutation which leads to an increased threat of many forms of cancer.

Colon cancer survivor Irma Studebaker of Piqua had a stage two tumor successfully removed from her colon, then her doctors urged her to get a blood test for Lynch Syndrome.

Those with this hereditary mutation have an 85 percent chance of getting colon cancer and a higher than average risk for over a dozen other types, including stomach and breast cancer, according to Lynch Syndrome International.

Irma had the free test at Upper Valley Medical Center as part of the Ohio Colorectal Cancer Initiative.

She tested positive and took action.

“I took the opportunity and had a full hysterectomy, so I know that type of cancer, I’m not going to get it,” Studebaker said.

One out of every 35 colo-rectal cancer patients has Lynch Syndrome and most don’t know it, according to genetic counselor Health Hampel with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

So far, 79 people in the Dayton area have been tested.

“It’s critically important to find out young so that you can start those screenings at the right age and do them at the right frequency and we can prevent these individuals from getting cancer in the first place,” Hampel said.

Irma made sure her daughter was tested and was relieved to find out she didn’t pass Lynch Syndrome on to her.

She urges everyone to get tested.

“Only half an hour of your time and it can save you years,” Studebaker said.

Enrollment for the Lynch Syndrome screening closes at the end of the year. For more information click here, or call 1-888-329-1654.

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