Did you know that patients say they are most likely to get screened if they hear a strong recommendation from their doctor?
So, please prioritize colorectal cancer screening in your treatment of patients ages 50 to 75.
- Don’t just mention it—strongly recommend that your patients get screened, and follow up to be sure they do.
- Consider sharing this information in your conversations.You can also help spread the word by empowering patients who’ve already been screened to talk about their experience with people they know.
- Download this quick reference guide. It’s a great resource for you and your staff about colorectal cancer screening best practices, screening options, insurance coverage and other resources.
- Please also download and print this flyer and post it in your waiting and exam rooms.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for all men and women ages 50-75. African American men and women should begin screening at age 45, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. Those with a family history of colorectal cancer should begin screening at age 40 or earlier (or 10 years before the age at diagnoses of the youngest case).
In May 2006 my mom—a vibrant and otherwise healthy 82-year-old African woman—was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Before her diagnosis I had never thought about colorectal cancer, but now I know that it is the second most deadly form of cancer and is also more prevalent among African Americans.
My mom had her surgery the Saturday before Mother’s Day and the only gift she asked of her six children was to get a colonoscopy. I scheduled mine as soon as I got home from visiting with her.
I’m telling my story to demystify the procedure and stress the benefits of getting screened. Colonoscopies are an easy and uncomplicated procedure and are crucial for preventing colorectal cancer and identifying cancer early so it can be treated. Nothing should get in the way of getting screened.
Liz Baxter – Portland