Colon Cancer Screening: Don’t Dread it, Get it!
When it comes to preventive health measures, it’s likely that colon cancer screening doesn’t top your list.
Yet colon cancer symptoms don’t typically appear until after the disease has advanced to later stages, so early screenings and a better understanding of personal risk factors are vital to early detection and prevention.
During Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, medical experts with the Sutter Health network encourage you to consider your own risk factors, review Sutter Health’s Health Maintenance Guidelines and think about which colon cancer screening is right for you.
How early is too early to get tested?
Age is the #1 factor for colorectal cancer, with more than 90 percent of cases occurring in men and women ages 50 and older. Other common risk factors include inflammatory bowel disease (such as Crohn’s disease) or a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. Sutter Health’s team of medical experts generally recommend starting colon cancer screening at age 50.
Options for colon cancer screening and colon cancer treatment vary, so it’s best to speak with your doctor to determine the best approach for you. From diet to exercise modifications, see what steps you can take today to help lower your risk for colon cancer.
See what really happens during a colonoscopy
Trouble viewing video? Watch Sutter Health’s video of What Happens During a Colonoscopy here.
After two years of proactive outreach to patients who met certain criteria, Sutter Health increased colon cancer screening rates by about 10 percent. Around 30-35 percent of patients who received home test kits (‘FIT’ kits, or Fecal Immunochemical Tests) completed the test and mailed it to the lab. Through this preventive screening effort led by Sutter Physician Services – Patient Outreach, a number of patients were able to effectively identify and treat the cancer in partnership with their doctors.