Four reasons to talk to your patients about colon cancer screening
More than 100 million people in the US are eligible for colon cancer screening, but why are so many of them not following through with testing?1,2 Misconceptions about colon cancer screening—including when it is appropriate and what testing methods are available—are among the leading reasons patients delay screening.3
You can help your patients follow through on their colon cancer screening by discussing their options and educating them on fecal immunochemical testing (FIT).
Here we share 4 important reasons you should talk to your patients about FIT testing.
Having choices drives colon cancer screening in patients
It may not be discomfort keeping many of your patients from regular colon cancer screening. For most, it’s a lack of awareness of screening options.4
Studies showed that screening adherence improved when patients were provided options for colon cancer screening, such as colonoscopy and fecal-based testing.5-6 Patients want options and to feel in control, particularly regarding their health care.
Guidelines: FIT is on par with colonoscopy
Many people are aware of colonoscopy, but there is also a convenient, less invasive option recommended for patients at average risk. Leading medical organizations state that annual FIT screening is on par with colonoscopy screening conducted every 10 years7-9:
- United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF)2
- American Cancer Society (ACS)7
- American College of Gastroenterology (ACG)10
- American Gastroenterological Association (AGA)11
- American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE)8
FIT helps close gaps in care
Many patients at average risk for colon cancer do not get screened as a result of social, educational, or logistical barriers.6 Access to options that can be performed conveniently at home can help make colon cancer screening a reality for more people.
In fact, in a 15-year community-based study of patients undergoing annual FIT screening, 83% of those at average risk for colon cancer were up to date on their colon cancer screening compared with 39% of patients before the study. In the same study, age-adjusted colon cancer mortality decreased by 53%.12
The Labcorp FIT Kit is simple for you and your patients
For patients 45 years of age and older and at average risk for colon cancer, the FIT Kit from Labcorp is a convenient and discreet at-home testing option.7,13 It provides your patients with everything they need to complete the test in the comfort of their home. When it is complete, they can simply mail it back to Labcorp.13
The Labcorp FIT Kit is easy and convenient to use13:
- No special preparation or dietary restrictions are required
- One very small sample (0.01 g)14 from one bowel movement is all that is needed
- The patient will not have direct contact with the stool
The FIT Kit provides effortless efficiency for you and your office—talk to your rep or order FIT Kits directly from Labcorp Link to have on hand for your patients who are at average risk.
Improve screening rates by educating your patients about FIT and empowering them with choices.
1. Piscitello A, Edwards DK. Estimating the screening-eligible population size, ages 45-74, at average risk to develop colorectal cancer in the United States. Cancer Prev Res. 2020;13:443-448.
2. Davidson KW. Screening for colorectal cancer: US preventative services task force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2021;325(19):1965-1977.
3. Jones RM, Woolf SH, Cunningham TD, et al. The relative importance of patient-reported barriers to colorectal cancer screening. Am J Prev Med. 2010;38(5):499-507.
4. Zhu X, Parks PD, Weiser E, Jacobson DJ, Limburg PJ, Finney Rutten LJ. Barriers to utilization of three colorectal cancer screening options – data from a national survey. Prev Med Rep. 2021;24:101508.
5. Denberg TD, Melhado TV, Coombes JM, et al. Predictors of nonadherence to screening colonoscopy. J Gen Intern Med. 2005;20:989-995.
6. Krist AH, Hochheimer CJ, Sabo RT, et al. Patient, clinician, and communication factors associated with colorectal cancer screening. J Am Board Fam Med. 2020;33:779-784.
7. Wolf AMD, Fontham ETH, Church TR, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults: 2018 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68:250-281.
8. Patel SQ, May FP, Anderson JC, et al. Updates on age to start and stop colorectal cancer screening: recommendations from the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Gastrointest Endosc. 2022;95:1-15.
9. Fendrick AM, Fisher DA, Saoud L, Ozbay AB, Karlitz, Limburg PJ. Impact of patient adherence to stool-based colorectal cancer screening and colonoscopy following a positive test on clinical outcomes. Cancer Prev Res. 2021;14:845-850.
10. Shaukat A, Kahi CJ, Burke CA, Rabeneck L, Sauer BG, Rex DK. ACG Clinical Guidelines: colorectal cancer screening 2021. Am J Gastroenterol. 2021;116:458-479.
11. Burke CA, Lieberman D, Feuerstein JD. AGA clinical practice update on approach to the use of noninvasive colorectal cancer screening options: commentary. Gastroenterology. 2022;162:952-956.
12. Levin TR, Corley DA, Jensen CD, et al. Effects of organized colorectal cancer screening on cancer incidence and mortality in a large community-based population. Gastroenterology. 2018;155:1383-1391.
13. Labcorp FIT ImmunoAssay Instructions. 2022. Accessed June 7, 2022. https://www.labcorp.com/tests/182949/occult-blood-fecal-immunoassay
14. Brenner H, Werner S. Selecting a cut-off for colorectal cancer screening with a fecal immunochemical test. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2017;8:e111.