When Should I Get Tested For Colon Cancer – March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to get honest about the third most common cancer diagnosed among men and women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 95,000 Americans will have colon cancer in 2016, and that more than half of those diagnosed will die from colon cancer. Colon cancer usually develops from colon polyps. A colon cancer screening or colorectal cancer test helps save lives by finding polyps early so they can be removed before they become cancerous. Early detection through screening is invaluable and plays a critical role in the lives of more than 1 million colon cancer survivors across the country.
When it comes to routine screening for the average American, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends testing at the following intervals:
When Should I Get Tested For Colon Cancer
A stool occult blood test is a stool test and is probably one of the simplest colon cancer screening procedures. Blood in the stool is a classic indicator of the presence of colon polyps. Often, this blood cannot be seen with the naked eye, so FOBT is very useful for detecting blood in the stool. Although the FOBT is the most common stool test, other tests include the sDNA or stool DNA test and the FIT or fecal immunochemical test. The Cologard test, also known as the ColoGard test, is a non-invasive procedure that tests blood in the stool for sDNA and changes in DNA that may indicate cancerous or pre-cancerous polyps. One of the disadvantages of sDNA is that individuals must meet very specific criteria to qualify for its use as a screening method. Also, many people may still need a colonoscopy after the procedure. In contrast, the FIT test, or immunochemical faecal occult blood test (iFOBT), may be more attractive and is thought to provide more accurate results because drugs and food do not interfere with its performance and results.
Annual At Home Stool Test May Be As Effective As Colonoscopy, Study Finds
Alpha Scientific Designs, Inc. was one of the first companies to offer an over-the-counter (OTC) fecal occult blood test (FOBT) for colon cancer pre-screening. In just 4 simple steps, you can perform an FOBT in the privacy and comfort of your home. With unprecedented speed and 98% accuracy, results are available within 5 minutes.
Always remember to consult your doctor to help determine which colon cancer screening test is best for you. Bowel cancer is a very serious disease affecting around 41,000 people in the UK each year and is the second biggest killer in the UK.
The risk of colon cancer, also known as colon cancer, is influenced by many factors. Understanding these bowel cancer risk factors can help you make lifestyle changes and stay aware of the condition. Just because you have a risk factor doesn’t mean you will develop bowel cancer.
Diets high in red and processed meat have been found to increase bowel cancer risk, while diets high in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fiber have been found to reduce risk. Cancer Research UK stated in 2010 that around 21% of bowel cancers are linked to consumption of red and processed meat.
Bowel Cancer Symptoms & Risk Factors
13% of bowel cancers are associated with obesity (having a BMI over 40), and there appears to be a strong link between obesity and colorectal cancer in men. Long-term smokers have a higher risk of colon/bowel cancer than non-smokers, and heavy drinking is known to increase the risk.
A strong family history of bowel cancer, meaning several relatives have been affected by the disease, can double your risk of developing the disease compared to the average risk (25%). Colon cancer caused by genetic disorders can lead to colon cancer occurring at a younger age than normal.
Certain ethnic groups are known to have higher bowel cancer incidence and mortality. Ashkenazi Jews have been found to have several genetic mutations that put them at one of the highest risks for bowel cancer among ethnic groups. African Americans also show a higher risk, although the reason for this has not yet been established.
Other medical conditions – Other diseases related to the colon, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, increase the risk of colon cancer.
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The same symptoms may indicate other less serious conditions such as hemorrhoids (piles), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diverticular disease, infection or inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis/Crohn’s disease). However, if you have any of the symptoms of bowel cancer listed below, you should immediately seek the advice of your GP for further tests to confirm the diagnosis.
As the disease progresses, other symptoms of colon cancer should be noted. Bleeding may occur internally in the intestine, but may not manifest in the stool, leading to anemia. This can be caused by:
Bowel cancer screening can help detect cancers in their early stages and ensure you get treatment early. Screening can detect non-cancerous lesions (polyps) that may later become cancerous, allowing them to be removed, thus preventing the development of bowel cancer.
There is an NHS bowel cancer screening program in the UK, but this is only available to people aged 60 or over (50 or over in Scotland). As bowel cancer rates begin to increase from the age of 45, private screening with BowelCheck is possible from this age onwards.
New At Home Test Can Tell You If You Have Colon Cancer
Unlike the NHS bowel cancer screening programme, BowelCheck is available to anyone over 45 and the testing system is more extensive leading to more accurate results. A bowel cancer screening test cannot be guaranteed to be 100% accurate, and a positive result from a bowel check is likely to recommend further investigations.
The prognosis of bowel cancer is very good if detected at an early stage, which is why bowel cancer screening such as the Bowel Check is so important.
If you are concerned about bowel cancer, we have developed BowelCheck, a simple testing kit that you can use in the comfort of your own home.
Initial tests for bowel cancer actually detect the presence of blood in a stool (poo) sample. This is known as a fecal blood test, and it involves sending a sample of poo to a lab for testing. If blood is found, further investigations are needed, which may include a colonoscopy (examination of the entire colon with a flexible camera), a flexible sigmoidoscopy (a camera examination of the lower part of the intestine), or a virtual colonoscopy. (CT scan).
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How doctors treat colon cancer depends on the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Surgery is usually required to remove the affected part of the intestine. If the disease is more advanced, you may also need chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy, and new approaches to treatment are looking at treatments that make it less likely to come back.
BowelCheck is a bowel cancer screening qFIT test that looks for signs of digested human blood in your stool, which could be a sign of bowel cancer. BowelCheck can be performed in the comfort of your own home, is fast, hygienic and easy to use.
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