Spring Screenings: Scheduling Health Exams

Updated: Nov 13, 2018

Photo Credit in References

Photo Credit in References

“CRC (Colorectal Cancer) is too common. Of cancers affecting both men and women, it is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. According to CDC, in 2014 (the latest year for which statistics are available), 139,992 people in the United States were diagnosed with CRC and 51,651 died from it,” explains Cynthia A. Gelb in her article, “Prevent Colorectal Cancer: We Can Do It.”

Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States, affecting both men and women. This doesn’t have to be the case. “Screening helps prevent colorectal cancer by finding precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.” States the CDC’s ‘Screening for Life” campaign, “It, screening, helps find colorectal cancer early, when treatment can be very effective.”

The key to prevention and survival: REGULAR SCREENINGS!!

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The Center for Disease Control (CDC) shares on their website (www.cdc.gov), there are several screening options available our colons. Discuss with your doctor which screening course of action is best for you.

Stool Tests:

· The guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) uses the chemical guaiac to detect blood in the stool. It is done once a year. For this test, you receive a test kit from your health care provider. At home, you use a stick or brush to obtain a small amount of stool. You return the test kit to the doctor or a lab, where the stool samples are checked for the presence of blood.

· The fecal immunochemical test (FIT) uses antibodies to detect blood in the stool. It is also done once a year in the same way as a gFOBT.

· The FIT-DNA test (also referred to as the stool DNA test) combines the FIT with a test that detects altered DNA in the stool. For this test, you collect an entire bowel movement and send it to a lab to be checked for cancer cells. It is done once every one or three years.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy: For this test, the doctor puts a short, thin, flexible, lighted tube into your rectum. The doctor checks for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and lower third of the colon.

How often: Every 5 years, or every 10 years with a FIT every year.

Colonoscopy: This is similar to flexible sigmoidoscopy, except the doctor uses a longer, thin, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and the entire colon. During the test, the doctor can find and remove most polyps and some cancers. Colonoscopy also is used as a follow-up test if anything unusual is found during one of the other screening tests.

How often: Every 10 years.

Photo Credit in References

Through regular preventive screening, Colorectal Cancer survival rates improve. Plus, many insurances will pay for testing. Check with your insurance company to see which, if any, test they cover under your policy. Mark your calendar to “Be Healthy this Spring” and get your screening for CRC done.


Reference: American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer

Accessed at: https://www.cancer.org/healthy/find-cancer-early/cancer-screening-guidelines/american-cancer-society-guidelines-for-the-early-detection-of-cancer.html

Accessed on: March 27, 2018.

Reference: Prevent Colorectal Cancer: We Can Do It!

Accessed at https://blogs.cdc.gov/cancer/2018/03/01/we-can-prevent-colorectal-cancer/

Accessed on March 27, 2018.

Reference: Screen for Life Campaign Overview

Accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/pdf/sfl_backgrounder.pdf

Accessed on: March 27, 2018.

Reference: Colorectal Screening Tests

Accessed at: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/screening/tests.htm

Accessed on: March 27, 2018.

Reference Photo One: Hope Ribbon

Accessed at http://www.westshoreprimarycare.com/blog/post/recap-colorectal-cancer-awareness-month

Accessed on March 27, 2018.

Reference Photo Two: Colorectal Infographic (Screen for Life Campaign)

Accessed at http://afmed.org/march-is-national-colorectal-cancer-screening-and-awareness-month/

Accessed on March 27, 2018.

Reference Photo Three: Screen for Life

Accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/sfl/infographic.htm

Accessed on March 27, 2018.

Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of the Cardinal Institute for Health Career’s blog is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.

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