Your screening options
Several screening tests can be used to find polyps or colorectal cancer. The most common tests are stool tests and colonoscopy. Stool tests are simple at-home tests (i.e. fecal occult blood test (FOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT), or a FIT-DNA test) that look for hidden blood in your stool. If blood is found, you may need a second test, called a colonoscopy. You also can get a colonoscopy first, without completing a stool test. During a colonoscopy, a doctor inserts a thin, flexible, lighted tube into your rectum to check for polyps or cancer in your colon. Less common tests include sigmoidoscopy and CT colonography (also known as virtual colonoscopy).
Most insurance plans cover all the cost of screening with no out-of-pocket costs such as co-pays or deductibles. Even without insurance, there are low cost, reliable options, including ones you can do at home.
If you haven’t been screened, talk to your doctor about the screening option that is right for you.
Get screened… it could save your life.
View recommend screening options.
When I was 38 years old, I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Today, I am undergoing treatments and anticipating an upcoming surgery. At the age of 36, my brother went in for a colonoscopy and had precancerous polyps removed. I knew colon cancer was in my family, but I had no idea it would affect me, especially at such a young age.
If you have colon cancer in the family, and have not had your colonoscopy, do not wait for the suggested age of 50 to get screened. Be conscious of any intestinal or bowel abnormality that you might have, such as blood or mucous in the stool, and go get checked immediately. Screening can help catch it early when it is still highly treatable.
Michelle Dennis – Portland