Colorectal Cancer Risk, Prevention, and Detection
March is colorectal cancer awareness month and “It’s Our Job to Save Your Butt!” In all seriousness though, colorectal cancer is the fourth most diagnosed form of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society the overall lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 (4.3%) for men and 1 in 25 (4%) for women. The good news is that if caught early nine out of ten people diagnosed will survive.
Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer
- Age 45 or older
- Lack of physical exercise
- Being overweight or obese
- Certain types of diets
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Personal history of inflammatory intestinal conditions
How to Prevent Colorectal Cancer
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Increase physical activity
- Eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
- Limit the amount of processed and red meats you eat
- Do not smoke or drink alcohol
Colorectal Cancer Screening
NOAH providers recommend people at average risk for colorectal cancer begin regular screenings at age 45. How often you get screened depends on the type of test you get.
Here’s a look at how the different options at NOAH stack up:
|TEST NAME||TYPE||HOW IT WORKS||PREP||HOW OFTEN||COST|
VARIES BY INSURANCE
(Often Covered in Full)
|Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)||Stool sample collected at home and mailed to a lab for testing||Looks for blood in the stool.||None||Every year||Least expensive|
|Cologuard Test||Stool sample collected at home and mailed to a lab for testing||Like the FIT test, looks for blood in the stool but also checks DNA in the stool for abnormal (possibly cancerous) cells||None||Every 3 years||More expensive than FIT test but less expensive than a colonoscopy|
|Colonoscopy||Visual screening performed in a hospital or specialized clinic||Checks for polyps (small growths in the colon or rectum) that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous||Requires bowel prep before the procedure and anesthesia during||Every 10 years||Most expensive|
Talk with your provider about which type of test is right for you. Then, be sure to follow through with your testing, understand your results and even schedule a reminder on the calendar for your next screening.
Questions? Ask away, we don’t mind because it’s our job to save you’re butt! Request an appointment today!