Colorectal Cancer Screening
Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is one of the three most prevalent cancers in America, and is commonly hereditary. Regular screening for colon cancer can detect the disease in its earliest stages, allowing for additional treatment options. If you want to learn more, contact your primary care practitioner to request an appointment for colon cancer screening, or visit our colorectal services page.
Colon Cancer Risk Factors
If you have any of the following risk factors for colorectal cancer, it’s important that you are screened for the disease:
- Age greater than 50
- Family history of colon cancer or polyps
- African American ethnicity
- Gene mutations that increase chances of colon cancer developing
- Type 2 diabetes
- Having had IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), including Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis
It’s also important to be tested if you’ve noticed blood in your stool, persistent diarrhea or constipation, unexplained weight-loss, or stomach pain that doesn’t stop.
If you or a loved one has been experiencing concerning symptoms, call your primary care practitioner for a screening referral.
Colon Cancer Tests
The colorectal surgeons and gastroenterologists at the Bassett Cancer Institute use three different types of colon cancer screening tests:
Colon Cancer Screening Kit
An at-home colon cancer screening kit can be a good option if it’s not yet time to schedule a screening with one of our colon cancer specialists. The most popular screening kit is a Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), which tests your stool for blood. You simply collect a small sample and mail it to your specialist’s office or lab. If blood is found, we’ll have you come in for additional testing.
Also known as a colon X-ray, a barium enema procedure involves injecting a metallic contrast liquid in the rectum, which coats the lining of the colon and allows for a clear X-ray. This type of colorectal cancer screening detects abnormalities in the large intestine, such as polyps, or the presence of inflammatory bowel disease.
A colonoscopy involves preparation prior to your screening appointment. Your specialist will provide you with detailed directions that generally include not eating for at least 12 hours before the procedure and drinking plenty of water. After you’ve been sedated, one of our experienced specialists inserts a long tube with a camera into your colon to search for polyps and cancer. If polyps are present, they can be removed immediately.
Learn More About Colon Cancer Screenings
Contact your primary care practitioner at 1-800-BASSETT to see if you are due for a colorectal cancer screening test. If you are uninsured or underinsured, contact the Cancer Services Program to find out if you may be eligible for free colon cancer screening.
Bassett Healthcare Network provides life-saving colon cancer screenings in Herkimer, Oneonta, Little Falls, Cobleskill, Cooperstown, and other locations across Central New York.