Is colonoscopy the only way?
The type of colorectal screening test that is right for you depends on your age, personal health history, and family history. Although colonoscopy is the gold standard, there are several ways to screen for cancer.
This scope procedure looks inside the lower half of the colon but no further. It provides a visual exam, needs no sedation, and requires enemas for prep.
This is a non-invasive test that can detect small amounts of blood in stool. It requires abstaining from red meat and certain medications for a few days prior.
Using X-rays to detect polyps or other abnormalities in the colon, a DCBE requires a laxative prep and clear diet the day before the sedation-free procedure.
This test uses X-rays and computers to take 2- or 3-D images of your colon and rectum. It requires a clear liquid for a few days prior and uses no sedation.
Ask your doctor
Getting screened is important, but so is the method you choose. Talk to your doctor about your family history, personal health history, and your own preferences to find the best screening option for you.
Initiative aims to reduce stigma and educate about screening choices, as the Colorectal Cancer Alliance launches a health equity fund to decrease disparities.
On the horizon are blood tests that have shown the ability to detect a variety of cancers including colorectal and rare cancers. Though these tests are still in development and are not yet approved by the FDA, clinical trials have shown impressive results.
In February of 2022, John and Mary experienced the unimaginable. Their 36-year-old son, Jonathan, died of stage IV colon cancer. Though Jonathan had been dealing with ulcerative colitis from the time he was twelve, no one would have predicted this outcome twenty-four years later.