Don't Delay Your Colon Cancer Screening

posted by Colette Rossiter on Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. It's estimated that in 2021, 149,500 new cases of colorectal cancer will be diagnosed.

In usual times, people tend to delay scheduling their important colon cancer screening and during the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic, even more people delayed having a colonoscopy. Screenings can help your physician find polyps or cancer before you experience symptoms. Don't delay; visit with your primary care physician about getting your screening scheduled.

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 its 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 results. 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!

  1. screening

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.