Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States, affecting both men and women. But many people who should be getting screened for cancer are not.
The American Cancer Society estimates that colon cancer will be responsible for more than 50,000 deaths this year.
A new review, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows at home tests are effective for colorectal cancer screening in average risk people.
CBS reports that the research looked at more than 30 studies on tests called F-I-T which needs to be done annually. There are different ways of getting screened. One of them is the traditional colonoscopy and medical experts say it’s still a great choice for a lot of people, but for the people who aren’t getting tested because they don`t want to get a colonoscopy there are alternatives.
One of those alternatives is the FIT test and that is looking for invisible blood that is in the stool though the test is not as good at picking up Colon Polyps, medical experts say its still a good test for picking up colon cancer and certainly beats not getting tested at all.
The American Cancer Society says people are considered average risk if they do not have:
- Personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
- Family history of colorectal cancer
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerate colitis or Crohn’s disease
- Confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer)
- Personal history of getting radiation to the abdomen or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance recommends people look out for symptoms know their risk factors.
Common symptoms are changes in bowel habits, changes in stool consistency, blood in the stool, and abdominal pain.
Risk factors can include family history, obesity, inactivity, smoking, and a diet high in red and processed meats.
Colon cancer is one the most curable forms of cancer when detected early.