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For National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March, Winn-Dixie, the University of Florida Department of Surgery at Shands Jacksonville Medical Center (UF&Shands Jacksonville) and Action News are teaming up to raise awareness of the deadly disease through the “Test for Life” campaign.
Through April 7, customers can visit any Winn-Dixie pharmacy on the First Coast (Jacksonville, Fla., area) and pick up their own EZ Detect, a patented two-minute, noninvasive test from Newport Beach, Calif.-based Biomerica Inc. for occult blood (blood not visible to the naked eye), which indicates bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. The bleeding could be a symptom of such colorectal diseases as ulcers, hemorrhoids, colorectal cancer, polyps, colitis, diverticulitis or fissures.
“Though lesser known and often ignored compared to other diseases, colorectal cancer has taken the lives of more than 56,000 people each year, making it the second-leading cause of cancer deaths,” explained Dr. Michael Nussbaum, chair of the private, not-for-profit UF&Shands Jacksonville. “If detected early, colorectal cancer is 95 percent curable.”
“Colorectal cancer screenings are recommended for men and women beginning at age 50, but it’s never too early to get tested,” added John Fegan, VP of pharmacy at Jacksonville-based Winn-Dixie, which operates about 480 retail grocery locations and 380 in-store pharmacies in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi. “We care about our guests’ health and want to encourage the community to take advantage of this opportunity and let friends know about these free tests. All it takes is one simple test to save a life.”
Customers can go online for a complete list of Winn-Dixie pharmacies where EZ Detect is offered.