Colon Cancer Screening is Easy

posted by Colette Rossiter on Monday, March 26, 2018 in Cancer

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Iowa.  But it doesn’t have to be.  It is one of the most preventable types of cancer. If you are 50 or older, a screening test could save your life!  

Unfortunately, many people think they don’t need testing because they have no symptoms.  However, pre-cancerous polyps in the colon often go undetected.  A colonoscopy can locate polyps and remove them during the procedure before they have a chance to turn into cancer.  Screenings can also find cancer in it’s early stages when it is highly treatable.  

Another type of screening tests for hidden blood in the stool, which may be an early sign of colon cancer. This test is simple and may be done at home.  FOBT (fecal occult blood test) kits are available at Spencer Hospital’s Community Health and Women’s Health Departments for $5.00.  The test is completed at home and mailed to the lab for resulting.  Everything needed is included in the kit (except for postage).  It’s easy, takes a very small stool sample, and doesn’t require any dietary restrictions.  
It is advisable to have a colonoscopy done at age 50 followed by this fecal occult blood test annually.

It is important to talk with your doctor about screenings.  Depending on risk or family history, you may need to be screened before age 50 and/or more frequently.  Recent statistics are showing an increase in new cases of colorectal cancer among those under 50 years of age.  Screening is easy and it just may save your life!

About The Author

Colette Rossiter

Colette Rossiter, serves as manager for Spencer Hospital Community Health Services and Clay County Public Health. Colette has enjoyed the variety of responsibilities her nursing career has provided, yet has a passion for public health and safety.