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.
Last fall, my doctor suggested I undergo a colonoscopy. It’s typically first recommended when a person hits 50, which was my case. I had a colonoscopy in March, which seems fitting since March is National Colorectal Awareness Month. I decided to tell my story so others would get screened as well.
Colonoscopies aren’t something people usually discuss and many people tend to put it off because they’re unsure what it entails. Sending a long snakelike device through my backside never seemed very appealing to me, either.
I’m glad I went and had the procedure done. The peace of mind knowing there aren’t any potential problems down there is worth it. If you’re older than 50 or have a family history or are showing symptoms of colorectal cancer, you should consider it, too.
John Sowell – Roseburg