Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 22 (4.49%) for men and 1 in 24 (4.15%) for women. These numbers highlight just how critical it is to be proactive with preventive measures to reduce your risk.
Check your risk level by completing this National Cancer Institute assessment.
The best way to determine early changes in your colon and catch polyps before they turn into cancer is to schedule routine colon cancer screenings at age 45 and every ten years after. If you have a strong family history or other risk factors determined by your provider, you may need to schedule more often.*
* The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force suggests beginning colorectal cancer screenings at age 45. Some insurance companies begin coverage for colorectal cancer screenings at age 50. Please get in touch with your insurance carrier about what your plan covers.
Types of colorectal cancer screenings
One of the most effective ways to prevent colon cancer is through early detection, which means regularly scheduled screenings. Among the most common screening for colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy.
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)
A lab test performed at Welia Health, a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), looks for hidden or invisible blood in your bowel movements. This test finds tiny amounts of blood that can’t be seen by looking at your bowel movements.
CologuardYour provider may prescribe Cologuard, an at-home test shipped directly to your home. There may be additional out-of-pocket expenses incurred with Cologuard. Please call your insurance company to learn if your insurance policy covers it.
Flexible sigmoidoscopyAn outpatient procedure in which a thin, flexible tube with a light and tiny camera on one end, called a sigmoidoscope or scope, looks inside your rectum and lower colon.
You’ll need a referral from your primary care provider to schedule a colonoscopy or stool-based test. To make an appointment with one of our Family Medicine providers, call Welia Health at 1.800.245.5671 or log onto MyChart.