Let’s break the silence.
What is Colorectal Cancer?
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon and/or rectum (also called large intestine or large bowel). Colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in men AND women in the United States:
Men and women of ANY age are at risk for this disease, but it can be both preventable and treatable, especially if it is caught at an early stage.
- Incidence of colorectal cancer is rising in younger populations including 20-39 year olds.
- It is important to know your family history of disease and to pay attention to any signs or symptoms that may possibly signal colorectal cancer. Talk to your doctor about blood in the stool, chronic constipation, changes in bowel habits, chronic pain and/or bloating, and stools that are thin or flat.
- Recent guideline changes highlight that everyone begin routine screening at age 45. African Americans have a higher risk of colorectal cancer and late stage diagnosis, and are still encouraged to get screened by age 45. Earlier or more frequent screening may be needed depending on additional risk factors.
- A family history or personal history of disease, including cancer as well as family history of polyps or personal history of polyps are risk factors that may mean earlier or more frequent screening is necessary.
- There are several colorectal screening options available. Talk to your doctor about the in-home fecal immunochemical stool test (FIT), Cologuard stool test, and colonoscopy as well as other available options.
How do I start the conversation with my health care provider? Five helpful tips!
- Tell your provider if you have a family history of polyps, or a family history of colorectal cancer. To begin with this first step requires the patient to know their family history. It is imperative to discuss family history of disease with loved ones.
- Tell your provider if you are having abdominal pain, bloating, thin or flat stools, blood in stool, chronic constipation, and/or irregular bowel habits.
- Remind your health care provider your age. If you are approaching age 45, even with no symptoms, you need to discuss and most likely schedule a routine screen.
- Ask your provider about simple in-home, non-invasive screening options and if one of those options might be right for you. Ask about how to schedule a colonoscopy or an in-home option.
- Request a low volume prep or Sutab prep pill if scheduling a colonoscopy.
What are the popular in-home screening options? Meet FIT and Cologuard!
The Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) is a noninvasive, easy method to test for occult (non-visible) blood in the stool which could signal an issue that needs further investigating. The test is completed in the privacy of your own home and then the patient returns the test to their provider’s office or mails it to a designated lab, to complete the screen. The results are sent to the provider for follow up with the patient regarding next steps.
Cologuard is a cutting edge method of in-home colorectal cancer screening. Cologuard is a stool DNA screen which tests for non-visible blood in the stool AND it is the only test that uses stool DNA technology to detect the shedding of cells that may indicate cancer or pre-cancer. The screening tool is sent directly to your home after your doctor places the order. The completed test is sent back to the Exact Sciences lab to complete the screen and the doctor is notified of the results.
If a patient receives a positive or abnormal stool test result, a diagnostic colonoscopy may be recommended to determine if the patient has colorectal cancer or another digestive issue that requires treatment.
Is it time for the colonoscopy procedure?
Ask about SuTab now on the market with high efficacy rates along with patient satisfaction. By taking pills and drinking clear liquids of your choice, this option takes the place of the high volume liquid jug.
What is HCB2 doing in the community to raise screening rates? Check out our screening services.