1 in 20 people will develop colon cancer during their lifetime, with both men and women being at risk. When considering men and women together, colon cancer is the second leading cause of death. The rate of deaths due to this cancer has been dropping over the past few decades. One reason is that routine screening has found polyps that are then removed before they can become cancerous. However, many people who should get screening for polyps don’t. Fecal Occult Blood is a tell-tale sign of many disease conditions, including diverticulitis, colitis, polyps, and colon cancer. However, blood in your stool isn’t always visible to the naked eye. Being able to specifically detect human hemoglobin in stool is crucial for screening for colon cancer and other potentially pathological conditions. ALFA Scientific Designs, Inc., provides an FDA 510(k) cleared, over-the-counter test, the iFOB test. It is a very convenient test because you can do it in the privacy of your own home.
Here are five reasons why you should test for colon cancer regularly.
1. Removing polyps early on reduces the risk of getting colon cancer. Polyps are small non-cancerous growths in the lining of your colon. Polyps are a clear sign that you are at risk for colon cancer, so the earlier they are detected, the sooner they can be surgically removed. Removing polyps does not require opening the body cavity, but can be done with minimal invasiveness.
2. Colon cancer that is detected early is easier to treat. Stage 0 and stage 1 colon cancers are ones in which the cancer has not broken through the outer wall of the colon. Thus, it has not spread to other tissues or the lymph nodes. Detecting stage 0 and stage 1 colon cancer allows for treatment with minimal to minor surgery. No chemotherapy and its negative side effects are required as part of the treatment.
3. Colon cancer that is found before it has spread has a 90%* 5-year survival rate. For cancer patients, 5-years survival is a big deal. The American Cancer Society reported that if a person survives for 5 years after treatment for a cancer, then it is much likelier that they will survive for another 5 years. 90% of patients with stage 0 or stage 1 colon cancer live for at least 5 years after treatment.
4. Yearly Stool Screening Increases Your Chances of Surviving Colon Cancer by 32%. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine tracked 46,000 adults who were divided into three groups. One group did yearly stool testing for colon cancer, the second group did stool testing every two years, and the third group did not have regular stool testing. 30 years later, the yearly test group had 32% fewer deaths due to colon cancer than the irregular testing group, while the every-two-years group had 22% fewer deaths than the irregular testing group.
5. The sooner you find a risk factor, the easier it is to reduce your risk by changing your diet. Changing your diet is one of the most natural ways to lower your risk of colon cancer. Diets high in meats, fats, and alcohol are associated with increased risk of colon cancer. By eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while cutting down on red and processed meat, you can naturally reduce your risk of colon cancer.