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During this time of stress and fear that our country is encountering, the last thing on many minds is preventative health maintenance. While this is understandable, our personal health is something to be cherished. March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that anyone 50 or over should be screened for colon cancer. You should begin being screened earlier if you have a family member that has had colon cancer or you have an inflammatory bowel disease. At St. Christopher Fund, we’ve offered assistance to many drivers fighting colon cancer.

 

Normally, the first line of defense in colon cancer screenings is having a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy is where a flexible tubular instrument is placed into the rectum and projects an image of the lining of the colon. This allows the doctor to look for any abnormalities. This minimally invasive outpatient procedure could save a person’s life. The preparations to have the colonoscopy is the most difficult part of the procedure. One of the first things that most people think is that they do not want to take the time or do not have the time to go have a colonoscopy. Now, we have additional preliminary methods of screenings.

 

Cologuard is an alternative to a colonoscopy as a less time consuming, less invasive procedure. There is no special prep involved, can be done at your convenience and no time is taken off work. It is a DNA stool test that is 92% effective in detecting colon cancers. It is usually covered by health insurance if you are over 50 years of age. The box is delivered to your door, detailed instructions are inside and it can be dropped off at any UPS store.  Recently, Julie Dillon, with SCF made a short video on the Cologuard test. Julie states that, “It was easy to understand and use. The hardest part was just taking the 5 minutes to do it. I didn’t want to know the possible results.” Cologuard is a good method for anyone who is out on the road a lot. With our current health crisis, it is also a good alternative to visiting a health facility to have a colonoscopy performed. In the interest of fairness, there is one downside to the stool test. If you have a positive screening result, a colonoscopy is then performed to determine a reason for the positive result.

 

Here’s the bottom line: Whatever method you choose to use, get it done. It’s not something people like to talk about but it needs to take place. People are dying every day due to a disease that can largely be prevented if they would get screened. Don’t be a statistic. Take charge of your health.

 

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