One of the easiest ways to prevent any type of cancer is by early detection and preventative procedures.

Colorectal (bowel) cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. According to national health screening standards, patients aged 50-75 should be screened for colorectal cancer. Early detection starts with a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT).

In East Chicago, many adults in this age range have no insurance and/or live below the federal poverty level. HealthLinc Inc, a Foundations of East Chicago (FEC) grantee, is committed to increasing early detection among East Chicago residents and therefore offers free FOBT kits to these adults. If an FOBT test result comes back positive, the patient is referred for a colonoscopy. The American College of Surgeons estimates between 76 and 90% of colon cancer can be prevented through this procedure.  Preventative colonoscopies greatly increase the likelihood of colorectal cancer survival. HealthLinc has negotiated a reduced rate of $1,000 for their patients to have the procedure, but for many East Chicago residents, even that rate (which was cut in half from $2,000) is unaffordable.

With funding from the Foundations of East Chicago, HealthLinc is able to provide this potentially lifesaving procedure at no cost to patients who otherwise may opt out of it due to cost.

To learn more about FEC grants, go to