March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month. Together with Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Miami encourages employees and their spouses/partners to get tested in accordance with screening guidelines. Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer among men and women in the U.S. With regular screenings, polyps and pre-cancerous growths can be removed before they become cancer, and early cancers can be treated more effectively. Survival rate for early-stage colon cancer is higher than 90 percent.
The Miller School of Medicine is one of many organizations in the U.S. that pledged to promote screening for colorectal cancer and to reach the goal of “80 percent by 2018,” established by the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable and the American Cancer Society.
There are several options for screening. For adults ages 50-75 with no risk factors or symptoms, the recommendations are either a fecal occult blood test, such as the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) once a year, a sigmoidoscopy every five years, or colonoscopy every 10 years.
To get a colonoscopy, contact your doctor to get an order for the test. If you want to have the test at UHealth, call 305-243-8644 to schedule the procedure.
An alternative to a colonoscopy is FIT, a noninvasive test of a sample of your stool that can be done in the privacy of your own home. Only one sample is needed, and there are no dietary restrictions as with previous stool tests. You may be eligible if you are age 50-75, and do not have any of the following: personal or family history of colon cancer, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or blood in your stool. If you have any of these conditions, ask your doctor what is the best screening test for you.
To order an FIT kit for yourself and your spouse/partner, click on this link: https://is.gd/CRC_Screening
Informational websites about colorectal cancer:
- Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center: http://sylvester.org/cancer/colorectal
- American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/
- US Preventive Services Task Force: https://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/UpdateSummaryFinal/colorectal-cancer-screening