To help bring awareness to colon cancer, a common but often overlooked disease, UPMC Hamot is offering free colon cancer screening kits to the public.

This is part of colorectal cancer awareness month. The initiative allows those over the age of 50 who have not yet had a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer in the comfort of their own home.

Colon cancer is the nation’s second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

Community Outreach Specialist Elizabeth Madurski says it’s also treatable if detected early enough, making getting screened important.

“A colonoscopy is the golden standard for preventing and detecting colon cancer at an early stage,” she said. “This kit is a great way for people to feel a little more comfortable to do this kit in the privacy of their own home and then if something is detected to have some follow up.”

This is a continued effort from UPMC Hamot to get 80 percent of their patients screened for colon cancer.

The kits can be picked up at the hospital’s main lobby until 1 p.m.