Low-income, uninsured people may qualify to receive free colonoscopies

Published: March 23 2012


What: University of Florida College of Medicine Mobile Outreach Clinic will be stationed in the Chiefland Walmart Supercenter parking lot between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on March 31 to enroll qualifying individuals in the Screen for Life program. Services include the office visit, colonoscopy and biopsy/polypectomy if needed, and people who may qualify to receive these services include:

  • Men and women
  • Between the ages of 50 to 64 years
  • Who have limited incomes and meet financial eligibility guidelines, and
  • Who do not have health insurance

Screen for Life is a partnership between the University of Florida, Shands HealthCare, the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that seeks to prevent colorectal cancer in vulnerable populations by offering free colonoscopies to qualifying applicants. UF is one of only three centers in the state selected to provide colonoscopies under the program, which is funded by the Department of Health to provide as many as 100 colonoscopies annually through the Shands Endoscopy Center. Any pre-cancerous polyps will be removed during the colonoscopy as part of the program.

Why: Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women. As many as 60 percent of those deaths could be prevented if everyone aged 50 years and older underwent screening tests — yet only about one-third of people in that age group have been screened appropriately for colorectal cancer. Because polyps and cancer in the colon and rectum frequently have no symptoms, it is important for people who are at greatest risk for colorectal cancer to receive regular screenings. Screenings can detect precancerous polyps and remove them before they have a chance to develop into cancer. Regular screenings also increase the likelihood of finding cancer early, when treatments are most effective. Screenings save lives.

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 31

Where: The parking lot of the Chiefland Super Walmart, located at 2201 N. Young Boulevard

Contact: Lindy Brounley via email at brounley@ufl.edu or telephone at 352-273-8013