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Not Just Colonoscopies…

Your Many Options for Colorectal Cancer Screening

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 150,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with this disease each year. It’s one of the most common cancers – but also highly curable when caught early.

Know the risk.

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF):

Get checked – schedule your screening today.

Screening can save your life. The USPSTF recommends all adults age 45 to 75 get regular screenings for colorectal cancer.

Many Options

It’s never been easier to screen for colorectal cancer. In fact, there are many different tests available – including non-invasive ones. A fear of tubes, scopes or fasting is no longer an excuse to avoid a potentially life-saving screening. Here are your options.

Stool-based tests look at your stool for signs of cancer or pre-cancers. These tests are less invasive and easier to have done. But if you choose this route, you usually need to do them more often. Types of stool-based tests include:

Visual tests look inside the colon and rectum for cancer or polyps. These tests can be done less often than stool-based tests, but they require more preparation ahead of time and are more invasive. Types of visual tests include:

There’s no single “best test.” Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of each and see what they recommend. Picking the right test depends on your preferences, your medical condition, the resources you have available and more. And the most important thing is simply getting tested.

A Final Note

If you’ve delayed your screening appointments or they’ve been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, talk to your doctor about resuming these tests. It’s as important as ever to get screened for colorectal cancer.

Interested in learning more? Check out our podcast about colorectal cancer prevention, and take a look at these helpful links:

For information on coverage and costs (if applicable) for specific tests and screenings, please see your health plan documents or call the number on the back of your health plan ID card. We’re always glad to answer any questions you may have.