Empower yourself with answers about colon cancer
Colon cancer. You might not want to think about it, but as the third leading cause of cancer deaths in adults in the United States, it is certainly worth talking about with your doctor. Let’s learn the basics and what you can do to improve your odds.
Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer for short, affects the large intestine. As we age, our cells deteriorate, making us more susceptible to illness. And since your gut, where your colon lives, works with many other parts of your body, colon cancer can spread quickly and aggressively.
The good news? It’s estimated that 60% of colon cancer deaths can be prevented when caught early and treated swiftly.* What’s more, if it’s removed before it metastasizes, or spreads, your chance of long-term remission jumps to a resounding 90%. Those are some inspiring numbers, but it’s up to you to take control.
For starters, take our Colon Cancer Patient Quiz. In just a few simple questions, we can help you determine if any factors contribute to your risk of colon cancer.
In some cases, such factors mean early or more frequent colon cancer screenings. For many of us, deciding to get screened is as simple as remembering our own birthday. For people between the ages of 45 and 75, regular screenings are crucial. Beyond age, your family medical history, any coexisting medical conditions and even your race and ethnicity can help inform your level of potential risk.
Symptoms of colon cancer often go unnoticed. Silent symptoms like precancerous polyps can take up to 10 to 15 years to develop. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly assume they don't need to be checked, but early detection is key to more successful outcomes. Thankfully, taking action is easy because screening is simple.
So, what’s next? You may think your only screening option is a colonoscopy. While it is one of the most common ways to detect abnormal cells, called precancerous polyps, it requires several days of preparation, which includes a full cleansing of the bowels. Luckily, there is a simpler, more convenient option for those at average risk. If you’re 45 or older, talk to your doctor about getting a Colorectal Cancer At-Home test collection kit from Labcorp. This fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit detects the presence of blood in the stool, which could be a sign of cancer or another condition, and may warrant further follow-up, including a colonoscopy or other type of exam. It’s a simple and affordable option, intended to be administered annually, that allows you to screen in the privacy of your own home. No doctor visit is required for the screening.
We get it—collecting a stool specimen may sound unpleasant—but when it comes to early colon cancer detection, one test could change your life for the better.
Your primary care physician can help guide you in getting the right tests. Have a chat with your doctor about your screening options and learn more about colon cancer prevention by visiting https://www.labcorp.com/cancer/colorectal/patients.
We understand that you want clear answers about your body. Choosing to get screened for colon cancer with Labcorp puts you on the right path toward a healthier future.