Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Posted by: Krista Chuscavage
by Emily L. Butler, MPH, Cancer Screening Coach, Breast, Cervical and Colon Health Program, Office of Healthy Communities, Washington State Department of Health
Statewide, only 64 percent of Washingtonians aged 50-75 are up
to date with recommended colon cancer screening. Of cancers that affect
both men and women, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer
death in Washington State, but it doesn't have to be.
March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, a great time to educate
patients about colon cancer screening. Screening is highly effective,
and with health insurance coverage increasing throughout the state, more
patients than ever can receive colon screening at little to no cost.
recommendation from a healthcare provider is the number one factor that
influences a patient's decision to get screened for colon cancer. Even
if healthcare providers already make a practice of recommending
screening for every screening-eligible patient, evidence-based
strategies can help improve their ability to identify and screen more
Colon cancer screening saves lives, yet a third of Washington
residents have never been screened or are not up to date with screening.
Offer the fecal immunochemical test (FIT)1 among a choice of screening tests to help close this gap.
FIT offers an effective, easy to use alternative to colonoscopy. The
U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening with either
FIT, high-sensitivity quaiac-based fecal occult blood test (FOBT),
colonoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy in healthy adults age 50 to 75. All
screening options are similarly effective,2 but not all
patients are willing to go through the preparation or take the time for
an endoscopic test. FIT is an easy, non-invasive option.
A recent study3 indicates more patients complete screening when offered a choice of screening options:
Colon Cancer Screening Resources
Learn more about FIT screening and other ways healthcare providers
can increase the number of patients screened in their community from
these online resources at the Washington State Department of Health:
If you have questions about these tools or if you would like to find
out more about how to increase colon cancer screening in your clinic or
community, contact the Department of Health's Cancer Screening Coach,
Emily Butler at
email@example.com or 253-395-6729.
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