March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!
As March is the official Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, please help us spread the word about getting screened.
Colon Cancer Screening Options
*If you have no personal or family history of colorectal cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, the recommended screening age is 50 or older Colonoscopy – The Gold Standard!
The only test that can truly PREVENT colon cancer by removing polyps before they become cancerous
Recommended every 10 years unless cancerous or pre-cancerous polyps are discovered
Stool DNA Test
- This is a DNA probe in combination with FIT test
- No special diet or bowel preparation is required for this test, however if it does come back positive, a colonoscopy is needed to confirm and possibly remove any polyps – this is usually an out of pocket expense and not covered by insurance
- Recommended for those who are at average risk for colorectal cancer or have no history of pre-cancerous polyps or colorectal cancer
- Not FDA approved for high- risk patients
Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)
- These take home kits are used to find small amounts of blood in the stool that could be a sign of cancer or large polyps
- In the result of a positive test, a follow- up colonoscopy is necesssary, but now considered diagnostic and not covered as a screening benefit
- Recommended every year as long as results are negative
- Significant false positive and false negative results – less accurate
- Also called a virtual colonoscopy, this is a scan of the colon and rectum that produces cross-sectional images to search for polyps or cancer by pumping air into the rectum and colon
- This screening option requires a bowel prep, but no sedation
- Significant radiation exposure
- If something suspicious is found, a follow-up colonoscopy will be needed, which will now be considered diagnostic and not covered as a screening benefit