Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) and the National Cancer Institute strongly recommend people over 50 to be regularly screened for colorectal cancer.As we get older, the risk of getting colorectal cancer gets higher. Research has shown that over 90% of colorectal cancer cases happen to people over 50. Colorectal cancer is preventable.Yet, less than 50% of Asian Americans are screened. Asian Americans are also less likely than non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks to get colorectal preventive care.
The recommended screening tests for colorectal cancer include:
• Fecal occult blood testing(FOBT): Polyps and colorectal cancer can bleed and FOBT checks for the presence of blood inapatient’s stool that may not be visible to the naked eye. Blood indicates that there may be growths of polyps or colorectal cancer and it allows doctors to identify people who need further testing.
• Sigmoidoscopy: A long flexible light tube with a lens (sigmoidoscope) is inserted into the patient through the anus into the rectum and the lower third of the colon. This allows the doctor to view the lining of the colon and polyps can be removed for further analysis.
• Colonoscopy:Similar to sigmoidoscopy, a longer flexible light tube with a lens (colonoscope) is inserted into the patient through the anus into the rectum and the colon.This allows the doctor to view the lining of the colon, especially the upper portions of the colon which is not reachable by sigmoidoscopy, and polyps can be removed for further analysis.
Find out which test you might prefer by using the Colorectal Cancer Screening Tool below!