Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) every 1 YEAR
FIT (to be repeated every year) uses antibodies to detect human hemoglobin protein (blood) in the stools using a high-tech laboratory method. This test reacts to part of the human hemoglobin protein, which is found on red blood cells. If blood is detected, the patient will require follow-up testing such as colonoscopy, to determine the reason for the presence of blood in the stools. However, FIT is less likely to react to bleeding from parts of the upper digestive tract, such as the stomach and it may not detect a tumor that is not bleeding.
COLONOSCOPY (every 10 YEARS)
A physician uses a colonoscope to view the entire colon and the rectum. The entire colon must be cleaned out in order to perform a colonoscopy. Polyps can be removed with the colonoscope. This is often considered the “gold standard” for colon screening.
CT Colonography (Virtual colonoscopy, every 5 years)
Colon screening through CT colonography is a non-invasive, advanced CT scan of the colon and rectum that produces 2 and 3-dimensional images of the colon and rectum that allows a doctor to look for polyps or cancer. The entire colon must be cleaned out. Air is pumped into the colon via a rectal tube and the CT scan is taken. If abnormalities are found, the appropriate diagnostic procedure (colonoscopy) should be performed. Polyps smaller than 5mm or less are not identified.
Fecal Occult Blood Test (GFOBT, every year)
The gFOBT test is a stool test used to detect blood that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Test results of either “positive” or “negative” determine if bleeding is occurring; however, it will not indicate the cause. To provide accurate samples, patients need to follow drug and dietary restrictions. If a test result is positive, a colonoscopy should be performed.
Stool DNA Tests (every 3 years)
These tests look for abnormal sections of DNA in the stool rather than blood in the stool. Slightly better detection rate than FIT but much more expensive. Again if the test is positive a colonoscopy should be performed
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (every 5 years and yearly FIT)
A physician uses a sigmoidoscope to view the sigmoid colon and the rectum. Less than half of the large intestine and the entire rectum can be seen. An enema is done to clean out the lower part of the colon and the rectum; some doctors require that the entire colon must be cleaned out. Polyps can be removed with the sigmoidoscope. Should be done in combination with gFOBT or FIT test.
Double Contrast Barium Enema (every 5 years)
The entire colon must be cleaned out. Air and contrast is pumped into the colon via a rectal tube then an X-ray is taken. Small polyps are often not identified. If abnormalities are found, the appropriate diagnostic procedure (colonoscopy) should be performed.
WHO SHOULD BE SCREENED AND WHEN
- Every woman and man at age 50, if not before.
- FAMILY HISTORY OF COLOrectal CANCER or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),
- SHOWING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS at any age