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A new grant will now allow the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas to provide free colorectal cancer screenings and colonoscopies to underinsured and uninsured people.

KAMC News reports that a grant called Fecal Immunochemical Testing for Screening and Treatment of Occult Preneoplasia (or FIT-STOP) provides kits that test for polyps or masses that typically indicate the beginning of a group of cancers that develop on the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Colorectal cancer will often start as a polyp, according to Dr. Rebeccah Baucom, a surgeon at TTUHSC.

When taking a test with these kits, if the result comes back as negative, then the individual should repeat the process again in a year. If positive, a free colonoscopy will be provided.

"We know one thing for sure: West Texans are dying at a higher rate of cancer than they are in any other part of the state, and so we want to focus not just on the research related to cancer, but also intervention and prevention," said Dr. Lori Rice-Spearman, president of TTUHSC.

TTUHSC will have multiple outreach events in the coming months. There will also apparently be applications where individuals can apply to receive one of the test kits mentioned above.

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