Colorectal cancer is a cancer of the colon or rectum. These cancers can be a polyp. A polyp is an abnormal growth that can turn into cancer. They grow into the colon. They then spread to other parts of the body such as the liver or kidneys.
Regular screenings can help find polyps before they turn cancerous. There are different ways to find polyps. Your doctor will know which test is best for you. The easiest test is called a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) test. A FIT test samples your stool. Most of these kinds of tests look for blood in the stool. This test can be done quickly, easily, and at home. You may need to do it every year. If the test comes back positive you will need a colonoscopy. During the test, a camera is inserted into the colon. It allows the doctor to see if there are any polyps. If any are found, the doctor may be able to remove them right away and have them tested to see if they are cancerous. You will only need to have this test every 10 years. This is the best test to find polyps.
At 45 years old you should begin regular colon cancer screenings. WellCare health plans cover these screenings at no cost to you. WellCare and the American Cancer Society (ACS) are working together. We want to improve colon cancer screening rates across the US. The ACS 80% has a program with the goal of achieving an 80% colon cancer screening rate in every county in the US. Help us to reach this goal. Have your colon screening when your doctor recommends it.
If you think you are at increased risk for colorectal cancer, speak with your doctor about:
- When to begin screening
- Which test is right for you
- How often to get tested.