Colon Cancer Screening
We want you to stay well. Colon and rectal cancers are the second leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths and risk increases as you age. Because most colon cancer is very slow growing, the highest number of deaths occur between the ages of 75 and 84, but the cancer most often started at least 10 years earlier, likely as a polyp.
This is why your primary care doctor is likely to recommend regular colon screenings after age 50. There are a number of ways you can protect yourself from colon cancer. They start with a diet full of colorful foods and fiber, and they continue with Spectrum Health services for colon care.
A colonoscopy is nothing to shy away from. The traditional colonoscopy provides accurate testing for colon cancer in its early stages. We are also able to remove any polyps at the same time, which is an important part of cancer prevention.
Also called "virtual colonoscopy," this is a non-invasive form of the traditional colonoscopy. Instead of using an internal scope, images of the colon are taken using a special CT scan. It does not require pain medication or anesthesia. This procedure is not covered by all health insurance providers. Talk with yours to see if the CT colonography is covered by your plan. If not, it may be worth investigating costs for self-pay. We want you to avoid colon cancer, so let's talk.
Epi proColon is an FDA-approved blood test for colon cancer screening for patients who are unwilling or unable to be screened by the recommended method of a colonoscopy. The Epi proColon blood test detects a specific type of altered DNA in your blood sample, called Septin 9. The presence of altered Septin DNA has been associated with colon cancer.