Among cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer - cancer of the colon or rectum - is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.
The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with advancing age. More than 90% of the cases occur in people aged 50 or older, yet a significant number of people still do not get screened. Sanford Health's professional staff makes every step of the process as comfortable as possible.
Sanford Health encourages patients to schedule a potentially life-saving procedure. Colon cancer screenings are recommended starting at age 50 for those of average risk. Patients with a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps should contact their physicians as they may need to be screened at a younger age, and have follow-up exams at more frequent intervals.
A colonoscopy allows the doctor to view the lining of the large intestines for any abnormal growths, inflamed tissue, ulcers and bleeding. A lighted tube with a small camera is inserted through the rectum so the doctor can see the lining, remove tissue and possibly treat any problems discovered.
Fecal immunochemical test
This test can be done once a year instead of the colonoscopy. It tests for blood in the stool and requires you to produce multiple samples through take home kits. It must be completed every year to be effective starting at age 50.
To schedule a colorectal cancer screening, call your primary care physician or Sanford Health at (605) 328-8500.