What do I need to know about Colorectal Cancer screenings? | Carson Tahoe Health

What do I need to know about Colorectal Cancer screenings?

You’ve got the *poower!* to take charge of your health! We know when it comes to the topic of Colorectal Cancer Screening, your face may *flush* and you may want to run the other way! Fortunately, in today’s world, screening can be done in the comfort of your own home. And the great news is, Carson Tahoe’s Health and Wellness Institute is here, ready to help you stay on top of your health screenings.

Did you know, according to the American Cancer Society, aside from skin cancers, “colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the U.S.” While that statistic may be alarming, it is just another reminder of how important screenings and early detection can be. If you have never been screened and have questions, we’ve got you covered!

  • At what age should I start getting screened?
    For people at average risk* for colorectal cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends starting regular screenings at age 45.
  • What types of tests are available to me?
    You can be screened either with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in your stool (a stool-based test), or with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum (a.k.a. a visual exam). Talk to your healthcare provider about which tests might be a good option for you, and discuss what your health insurance covers. No matter which test you choose, the most important thing is to get screened. (We do want to point out, if you do choose to be screened with a test other than a colonoscopy, any abnormal test result needs to be followed up with a colonoscopy.)
  • How long do I need to be getting screenings?
    If you’re in good health, you should continue your regular annual colorectal cancer screenings through age 75. For people ages 76 through 85, talk with your health care provider about preferences, overall health, and past screening history to see how often you need to be checked. For those who are over the age of 85, you should no longer get colorectal cancer screening.

We will be offering 100 Free Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) during the month of May at our Health and Wellness Institute starting May 10. In the event that an abnormality is noted, we will follow up with you for referrals to a Gastroenterologist (GI) and further follow-up (colonoscopy).

And how can we forget to mention Colin the Colon?! Friday, May 14th our Health and Wellness Institute will have a special appearance from Colin the Colon. He’ll be at the Cancer Center parking lot to talk about Chron’s Disease, polyps, cancer, and advanced cancer. While there, you will even get the chance to walk through a life-size colon!

*Average risk indicates those without a history of polyps or previous positive fecal occult blood tests.