Clinical Hub,Patient Education,Health and Nutrition Facts For You,Cancer, BMT, Hematology

Colorectal Cancer Prevention (6982)

Colorectal Cancer Prevention (6982) - Clinical Hub, Patient Education, Health and Nutrition Facts For You, Cancer, BMT, Hematology


Colorectal Cancer Prevention

What is colorectal cancer?
 It is cancer of the large intestine and rectum.
 It develops from a growth called a polyp that is not cancer yet, but can become cancerous.
 It is a preventable disease. With screening, colorectal cancer can be prevented.
 It is a treatable disease. If found early with screening, you have a good chance of beating
colorectal cancer.

How can colorectal cancer be prevented?
 Screening is the only way to detect polyps and then treat them before they turn into cancer.

Who should be screened for colorectal cancer?
 Men and women 50 years or older should be screened.
 You are at increased risk if you have a parent, brother, sister, or child who has had colorectal
cancer or if you have a history of colon polyps. Talk with your doctor to find out if screening
should start before age 50 or be more often.
 Do not wait for symptoms to get screened. You can have the disease and not even know it.

Screening Options

Standard or Optical Colonoscopy (Screens entire colon)
Description: The rectum and entire colon are looked at using a flexible tube with a built in camera and
light. This tube is called a colonoscope. Growths that are not normal (called polyps) can be found and
removed or biopsied.
Frequency: Every 10 years
 Can look at entire colon and rectum.
 Allows for growths/polyps to be taken out at time of exam.
 IV sedation is used for comfort.
 Cleansing of the colon is required (bowel prep).
 Plan on sedation with recovery time; you will likely miss some work/activities.
 You will need a driver to take you home.

Virtual Colonoscopy (Screens entire colon)

Description: A CT scan of the abdomen is done while air (CO2) is put into the colon. Special computer
software builds a 3-D model of the total colon and rectum. This is viewed by a radiologist to look for
colon polyps and cancer.
Frequency: Every 5 years
 Can look at entire colon and rectum.
 You can return to work/activity following the test, unless optical colonoscopy is required.

 No IV or sedation required.
 Cleansing of the colon is required (bowel prep).
 If a polyp is found, removal may be done with optical colonoscopy the same day.
 CT images provide a limited look outside the colon for problems in the abdomen or pelvis and
screen for abdominal aortic aneurysms.
 No driver needed to take you home.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (Screens part of the colon)
Description: A flexible, lighted tube (endoscope) is used to view the lining of the lower third of the
colon and rectum.
Frequency: With or without FIT or gFOBT every 3 years
 Less cleansing of the colon is needed than colonoscopy.
 You can return to work/activity after the test.
 No IV or sedation required.
 Entire colon is not screened.
 If a polyp is found, an optical colonoscopy is scheduled to remove the polyp and look at the
entire colon.
 No driver needed to take you home.

Immunochemical Fecal Occult Blood Test (iFOBT or FIT) (Does not screen colon)
Description: This test checks for invisible blood in the stool. The test is a take-home kit. You collect a
stool sample on a stick and mail the stick to your health care provider’s lab. If blood is found in the
stool, more testing is needed.
Frequency: Every 1 year
 No bowel prep is needed.
 May be done at home.
 Does not detect polyps at an early stage.
 May have false-positive and false-negative results.
 Colonoscopy is needed if test is positive for blood.

Stool DNA Test (FIT-DNA) (Does not screen the colon)
Description: This test detects tiny amounts of blood in stool as well as nine DNA biomarkers in three
genes that have been found in colorectal cancer and precancerous advanced adenomas. The test is a take
home kit, the sample is mailed to a laboratory for testing. People with a positive finding are advised to
have a colonoscopy.
Frequency: Consult with your doctor.
ξ No bowel prep needed.
ξ No dietary restrictions before the test.
ξ Test may be done at home.
ξ Cost may be higher the iFOBT.
ξ Test sensitivity for adenomas (precancerous polyps) is low.
ξ False-positive test result are possible (test may suggest an abnormality when none is there).
ξ Colonoscopy is needed if the test result is positive for blood or abnormal DNA.

For more information about your screening options and to schedule, contact your clinic or health
care provider.

Contact your health insurance company about coverage for screening options.

Visit www.uwhealth.org/healthinformation for more information.

Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you have any
questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This is not medical
advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each person’s health needs are
different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using this information. If you have an
emergency, please call 911. Copyright ©5/2017. University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved.
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