In home, stool-based tests are effective screening tools for colorectal cancer for those at average risk of colorectal cancer and if used as directed. Other screening tools like colonoscopy permit a full view of the colon and can also lead to the direct removal of polyps before they become cancerous during the same procedure. Preference for a particular screening tool may vary due to a number of factors, including a person's family or personal history of colorectal cancer and other diseases as well as healthcare access and affordability, lack of transportation, ability to take off work and more. Please talk to a healthcare provider about what screening option may be best for you.
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
which needs further investigating. The test is completed in the privacy of
your own home and then the patient mails test to the designated lab to
complete the screen. The results are sent to the doctor for follow up.
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 precancer.
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.
In 2017, HCB2 was invited to partner with Health Brigade, a local free clinic,
to distribute in-home colorectal cancer screening tests (FIT) to uninsured
patients. Lacking health insurance, patients may be unable to act upon the
recommendation to get screened for cancer. The out of pocket costs for
uninsured patients to receive a colonoscopy are another barrier to screening.
Many of the patients we help serve in the Richmond area are likely to receive help
through Access Now in receiving a screening colonoscopy, but the wait list
for these patients can be months long. For those patients that are 45 years of
age or older and of average risk for colorectal cancer, the FIT screening tool
is an inexpensive and less invasive option that can be conducted at home. We have since expanded the FIT screening program to a total of nine clinic sites through partnership with 6 free clinic and FQHC partners across the state where timely access to an affordable screening colonoscopy may vary.
First, TELL your doctor: If you have a family history of polyps, or a family history
of colorectal cancer and/or if you are having pain, bloating, blood in stool, chronic
constipation, irregular bowel habits at ANY AGE. By age 45, remind your doctor that it's time for you to be screening for colorectal cancer. If you have a family history or other risk factors, you may need to start screening earlier.
Second, ASK your doctor about simple in-home non-invasive screening options,
scheduling a colonoscopy, and proper prepping procedure.
Time for your colonoscopy? Download your complete guide to colonoscopy prep!
Don’t fear the bowel prep, we have effective tips to help you prep and
protect your colon. Remember that after the procedure your gut needs
to recolonize the ‘good guy’ bacteria, so try to get foods rich in pre- and probiotics. Check out the high-quality foods we place in our Healing Belly Basket and include in our Fight Right Anti-Inflammatory grocery list for more info.
*The HCB2.org website is not designed to and does not provide medical advice, medical opinion, or treatment to any individual. HCB2.org provides
current evidence-based information for educational purposes only. The information provided on HCB2.org, or through linkages to other sites, is not a
substitute for appropriate medical or professional care. HCB2 does not condone using HCB2.org in place of a visit, consultation, or the advice of a proper
physician or other healthcare provider. Hitting Cancer Below the Belt (HCB2) is not liable for any information or service you obtain through this site.