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IPHA gets funding to improve cancer screening rates

The Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) in the US has received grant funding from cancer screening and diagnostic tests provider Exact Sciences to improve colorectal cancer screening rates.

The funds will be used to support screening and provide more healthcare access to the counties of Sangamon and Macon.

IPHA secured the funding through Exact Sciences’ Funding Opportunities for CRC Screening Uptake Strategies (FOCUS) Program, which was launched in June 2022.

This programme focuses on providing funding to health foundations, community organisations, public health organisations, and advocacy groups working to increase CRC screening access.

Through Engaging Community Health Workers to Address Colon Cancer programme, IPHA unites non-clinical and clinical partners to advance CRC uptake strategies in Sangamon and Macon counties in Illinois.

These counties have the lowest CRC screening uptake rates both post and pre-Covid.

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IPHA executive director Tom Hughes said: “IPHA is very pleased to have received this grant. The patient population we expect to reach are those who face numerous challenges and often go unscreened for CRC so we anticipate this grant can help us reduce barriers and improve screening rates within these communities.”

It will collaborate with organisations, including the Illinois Primary Health Care Association (IPHCA), the American Cancer Society, and the Regional Cancer Committee, as well as with community-based organisations serving populations at risk.

Exact Sciences screening chief medical officer Paul Limburg said: “Exact Sciences is honoured to support organisations that are working to expand access and availability of screening options for often-overlooked communities.

“Although colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers more than 50,000 people die from this disease each year in the US alone.”

Exact Sciences developed what it claims to be the first and only FDA-approved, noninvasive, multi-target, stool-based DNA screening test, Cologuard, designed to allow people to use it at home.

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