Free colorectal cancer screening offered

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so Hendrick Cancer Center of Abilene will be at the Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department, located at 301 E. 12th in Sweetwater from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, March 13. They will be offering the fecal occult blood test. A new easier and more accurate test will be used this year. The fecal occult blood test is a simple at-home procedure that checks a stool sample for hidden blood, which can be a sign of cancer, polyps or other internal disorders. This test is your best insurance for detecting colorectal cancer when it may be easily cured by prompt treatment. The American Cancer Society recommends that men and women at average risk begin regular testing for colorectal cancer at age 50.Reminder to sixth grade parents, your child is required to have one dose of Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoids and acellular Pertussis vaccine (Tdap) vaccine, one dose of meningococcal vaccine, and two doses of varicella vaccine or documentation of child having the varicella disease (chickenpox) before they enter seventh grade. The health department encourages parents to get these vaccines done now. An Immunization Clinic takes place every Wednesday from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m. and on the second Wednesday until 6 p.m. Children with private health insurance need to be vaccinated by their physician unless private insurance does not pay for vaccines. The child can then be vaccinated at the health department through the VFC program. There is a $10 administration fee per child.  Medicaid and CHIPS are accepted.Family Planning services are available through several funding sources. Services include pap smears, breast exams, pregnancy testing, methods of birth control and screening and testing for sexual transmitted diseases. For an appointment call 235-2869.The Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department does not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age.