5 Things To Know About Colorectal Cancer Screening
One of the famous quotes about cancer is, "Early detection saves lives," that is, screening can save people from dying, not only of cancer but of all diseases. It is crucial to get screened in the asymptomatic case to identify the presence or absence of the disease. Since it is the month of March, we are into creating more awareness of colorectal cancer. Welcome back! In today's blog, we will discuss 5 things to know about colorectal cancer screening.
Colorectal cancer is a condition where cell growth is out of control in the colon or rectum. It may be referred to as colon cancer. Especially in early colorectal cancer, symptoms are not usually present. Without realizing it, a person could develop polyps or even colorectal cancer. So it is mandatory to appear for the colorectal cancer screening test.
1. What Is Colorectal Cancer Screening Test?
Colorectal cancer screening can detect polyps and initial cancer in the large intestine. In the medical field, the screening test detects the disease from the population without cancer symptoms (unrecognized disease). This screening test is not regarded as a diagnostic test, but it can be more beneficial with a quick and easy process.
2. Who And When Need Screening?
The key to preventing and detecting colorectal cancer is regular screening, which should start around age 45. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force,
- Adults aged 45 to 75 should undergo colorectal cancer screening.
- 10.5% of newly diagnosed cases of colorectal cancer occur in patients under the age of 50.
- A person with inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's or ulcerative colitis).
- A personal or family with a colorectal condition or colorectal polyps.
- A history of abdominal (belly) or pelvic radiation therapy for previous cancer
- A biological syndrome such as hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome) or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
The frequency of the screening will depend on the symptoms and the risk factors of colorectal cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society's (ACS) recommendations, those at average risk for colorectal cancer should start screening around age 45 because studies show that rates of colorectal cancer among persons under 50 are rising. According to ACS specialists, screening begins at 45 and could contribute to greater lifesaving. People over the age of 85 should no longer get screened for colorectal cancer.
3. How Is the Colorectal Cancer Screening Test Done?
For colorectal cancer screening, there are five different tests available. They are
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): Used to screen the hidden blood in the stool sample by placing it in a special card. Three types of FOBT are available, guaiac fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), fecal immunochemical test (iFOBT or FIT), and FIT-DNA.
- Sigmoidoscopy: Used to detect aberrant tissue or cancer in the rectum or the lower colon.
- Colonoscopy: Imaging the inside of the large intestine, bypassing the colonoscope through the rectum or colon.
- Virtual colonoscopy: Produces a series of X-ray that detects abnormalities in the colon's internal lining.
- DNA stool test: Detects the DNA alteration in the stool sample.
4. Why Is Colorectal Cancer Screening Test Important?
The importance of screening tests is to find the potential health disease, which is easy to administer, cost-effective, and valid. It is vital to evaluate the specificity, sensitivity, and positive and negative values in predicting the disease. Two main purposes of screening tests,
- To detect the disease at the initial stage when treatment can be more effective.
- To find the risk factors that raise the disease, use this knowledge to adjust the risk variables to avoid or decrease the disease.
5. Facts About Colorectal Cancer
- Age is the #1 risk component for colorectal cancer.
- Every ethnicity of both men and women is affected by colon cancer.
- Colonoscopy is the most effective colorectal cancer screening.
- Colon cancer patients could feel 100% healthy.
- Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths for both men and women.
- Healthy habits may also reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Generally, colorectal cancer takes 10 to 15 years to develop.
- 51% of people between the age of 50 and 54 have not had a recent colorectal cancer screening.
- Colon cancer is Preventable, Treatable, and Beatable with timely screening and testing.
Frequently Asked Questions About Colorectal Cancer Screening
1. How accurate is colorectal cancer screening?
There is no doubt that colonoscopy is an effective screening procedure where it detects 98% of cancer accurately and removes the precancerous and cancerous polyps during the process.
2. Is colon cancer screening painful?
Screening tests like a sigmoidoscope may cause some discomfort but not pain. This is because air is pumped into the rectum and colon to view the inner lining.
3. How should I get ready for a colonoscopy for colon cancer screening?
You should eat something other than solid food from the day before the exam, like plain water, beverages, tea, and coffee without cream.
4. What age is the ideal time to stop colon cancer screening?
People over the age of 85 should no longer get screened for colorectal cancer because the effectiveness of the screening declines after this age.
5. How often does colorectal cancer screening have to be done?
It is recommended for both men and women to undergo screening procedures every 5 - 10 years after the age of 45.
6. What does a positive result on a colorectal screening means?
An indication of blood in the stool sample or DNA alterations is considered a positive result.