Catching Colon Cancer Early

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women and the second leading cause in men in the United States. Routine tests are recommended starting at the age of 50 to prevent many cases of colon cancer. Men have a higher chance of getting colon cancer than women. Colon cancer risks can be reduced by managing your diet, weight, physical activity and by avoiding tobacco. There are two types of screening tests available; one is the visual examination tests which includes colonoscopy, CT colonography, double-contrast barium enema and flexible sigmoidoscopy. The second type of test is a stool test such as a guaiac-based Fecal Occult Blood Test/Fecal Immunochemical Test and a stool DNA test. The IFOBT is a rapid test that detects blood in the stool that can be performed at home by the patient. The rapid IFOBT can be performed every year and confirmed by colonoscopy if the sample shows abnormal results.