To recognize Cancer Prevention Month, Roper St. Francis Healthcare cancer surgeons and oncologists call attention to the importance of routine cancer screening in a series of interviews.
Dr. Alejandro Suarez contributes to Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s National Cancer Prevention Month series by advising on colon cancer prevention tips and screening recommendations.
Symptoms of colon cancer include changes in bowel habits, bleeding, pain and narrowing stool. “If you are at average risk and don’t have personal or family history of colon cancer, polyps or inflammatory bowel disease, you still need to get checked,” Dr. Suarez said. That is why colon cancer screenings are recommended for adults at age 45.
New cases of colorectal cancer increased by more than two percent each year among people under the age of 50 from 2012 to 2016, according to the American Cancer Society. When colon and rectal cancers are found early, there is almost a 90 percent chance for cure. Screening, early detection and diagnosis are key to the best patient outcomes.
Roper St. Francis Healthcare uses several tests to screen for or diagnose colorectal cancer, including:
- Imaging, including CT colonography, MRI, and double contrast barium enema (DCBE)
- Fecal tests, including occult blood test (FOBT), immunohistochemical test (FIT), DNA test (Cologuard)
- Digital rectal exam
Roper St. Francis Healthcare will host a colon cancer screening event on March 9 for the uninsured and underinsured. The event will take place at the Greer Transitions Clinic.