Go To Know
A Simple, At-Home Test to Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is extremely common, and Black Americans are at higher risk for it than most other groups. Fortunately, you can catch or prevent most colorectal cancers with screening. Learn about which colorectal cancer screening options are best for you based on your personal risk factors.
If you prefer to speak to a patient navigator, you can call (877) 422-2030. Our patient navigators provide one-on-one guidance and are available Monday through Friday 9am - 5pm EST.
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
A FIT can also be done at home. This test checks for blood in stool that can’t be seen with the naked eye. You simply take a small sample of stool and place it in the provided container or card for analysis. You will either return the kit to your doctor’s office or send it back by mail. A positive test requires a follow-up colonoscopy. A FIT should be completed once a year.
Stool DNA test
A stool DNA test is an at-home test for people at average risk. You collect a stool sample in a provided container and mail it to a lab for analysis. At the lab, your stool is tested for DNA and blood. Both could indicate precancerous polyps or cancer. A positive test requires a follow-up colonoscopy. Stool DNA tests should be completed every three years.
A colonoscopy is also a good option for people at average risk. During a colonoscopy, a doctor uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera to look inside your colon and rectum. The doctor will search for anything abnormal and remove polyps, which are growths that can turn into cancer. Most colonoscopies are done with the patient under sedation (a sleep-like state). A colonoscopy should be completed at least every ten years but could be more often depending on the patient.
Why Should You Go To Know?
Colorectal cancer is extremely common in the United States, and it impacts Black Americans more than any other racial group. Black Americans are about 20% more likely to get colorectal cancer and about 40% more likely to die from it than most other groups.
Screening saves lives. Take the quiz today to find your personalized screening options.
Who does colorectal cancer affect? Am I at-risk?
One in 23 men and 1 in 25 women will be diagnosed with colorectal (colon or rectal) cancer in their lifetime. This disease affects men and women of all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people 50 years or older. Screening disparities are also evident among Black and Hispanic communities who are most at-risk and experience higher incidence and mortality rates.
Incidence in those younger than 50, or young onset, is on the rise. In 2020, about 12% of colorectal cancers – or 18,000 cases – will be diagnosed in people under 50 in the U.S. Learn more here, and visit quiz.getscreened.org to find out what screening options are best for you.
Why is it so important to get screened?
Colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and/or rectum) is the second leading cause of cancer death in men and women combined in the U.S., but it is also one of the most preventable and treatable when it is discovered early. Screening can prevent many cases of colorectal cancer through the detection and removal of precancerous growths.
Why can’t this wait?
Getting screened for colorectal cancer can save your life. If caught early, you have a 90% chance of survival. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, colorectal cancer screenings dropped roughly 90% and diagnoses decreased by 32%. This put 18,000 people at risk for delayed or missed diagnoses that will lead to additional deaths from this preventable disease.
If I need a colonoscopy, I’m scared to get one right now. Is it safe during COVID-19?
Your healthcare provider has taken the precautions to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff alike.