There are a number of reliable screening options available to meet your patients’ needs and budgets. Each screening method is effective if done correctly and at recommended intervals, and new research shows that offering patients a choice of screening options increases their likelihood of being screened.
View a quick reference guide with recommend screening options and clinical considerations.
NOTE: Collecting sample during an in-office digital rectal exam (DRE) is strongly discouraged. DREs miss 95 percent of cases of advanced neoplasia, giving patients a false sense of reassurance. They can also produce a false positive result due to hemorrhoids or anal fissures. A stool sample collected at home is optimal for testing purposes.
I had my first colonoscopy in my 30s because of my family history. My grandfather had colon cancer; he died after it spread to his liver. When my sister and mother were screened, the doctors removed polyps, and now they’re fine. If the procedure is a little uncomfortable, a little embarrassing, just remember: If colon cancer is detected early, it can be treated and you can go on to live a very long life. We need to drop that guard down and look at the big picture.
Jeff Johnson- juvenile probation officer for Deschutes County, Bend