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Colorectal Cancer Testing Can Save Your Life

Posted Nov 27 2013 9:00am
Thanksgiving is upon us and it is a perfect time to talk about colon cancer screening.  This year, I am thankful that we have tests available that can help find colon cancer early and save lives! 

Colorectal (colon) cancer is the second leading cancer in men and women in the United States.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends one of three tests to test for colon cancer – colonoscopy, stool tests (guaiac fecal occult blood test – FOBT or fecal immunochemical test – FIT), and sigmoidoscopy (rarely done.)  Most individuals do not know there are less invasive tests, in comparison to colonoscopies, that can be done to check for colon cancer. 

Do you know what the best test is to test for colon cancer?  The one you have done. 

According to the CDC, approximately 23 million adults living in the United States have never been tested.  This is 1 in 3 people!  And, about 2/3rds of these individuals have a regular doctor they visit and health insurance that could pay for the cancer screening! 

So, what can you do?

  •  Learn about ALLthe available tests and, with your doctor’s help, choose the one that is best for you
  • Keep track of your family history and personal history
  • Encourage friends and family to be tested for colon cancer
  • Visit The Colon Cancer Foundation  for more information about screening and colon cancer

90% of individuals live five or more years when their colon cancer is found early through testing.

So, what are you waiting for?  Call your doctor today.

Which test should you choose?

Colonoscopy
  • Family history of colorectal (colon) cancer or polyps
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Can help reduce death from colon cancer
  • Can remove precancerous or abnormal growths in colon during tests
  • Finds most cancer or polyps that are present
  • Done every 10 years if no polyps are found

FOBT/FIT
  • No family history of colon cancer or polyps
  • No history of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Can help reduce death from colon cancer
  • Safe and easy to complete
  • Test is performed at home on your own schedule
  • Finds cancer early by screening for blood in stool
  • Can find most cancers if performed each year

Of course, discuss boththese options with your doctor and, with his or her assistance, choose the right test for your situation.

The Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to sit down with your relatives and compile your family history for your doctor’s visit, as well a great opportunity to encourage them to be tested for colon cancer themselves.  Next year, you might be thankful you did.

For more information, visit the Colon Cancer Foundation .

We hope you have a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving.



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