Detection And Prevention

Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through screening. Premier Health endoscopy labs offer diagnostic evaluations, including colonoscopies, to screen for colorectal cancer. In addition, we use advanced diagnostic technology to precisely determine the location and extent of a patient’s colorectal cancer.

  • Colonoscopy. Premier Health endoscopy labs use advanced technology to reveal problem areas and identify changes in the colon earlier than ever before. It is not possible to remove polyps that were difficult — and a few years ago, impossible — to remove, thanks to enhancements to imaging technology that our physicians use to view the colon, new tools, and more effective medications.
  • Imaging: Premier Health uses advanced imaging tools, including advanced endorectal ultrasound and MRI technology, to determine the stage of a cancer and guide further treatment,

Prevention And Early Detection

For patients of average risk who are 50 years of age or older, a screening colonoscopy is the first step to early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45.

Prevention is as easy as scheduling a screening, and most insurance plans, Medicare included, cover the procedure.

Screening tests that find polyps and may prevent cancer include:

  • Colonoscopy. This test is currently recommended as the preferred screening test to prevent and find colorectal cancer at an earlier stage. A negative colonoscopy in an average risk patient eliminates the need for any other screening tests to detect colorectal cancer until the next recommended interval test. Screen every 10 years
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy. This test should be combined with a yearly fecal immunochemical test. Screen every five years*, **
  • Double-contrast barium enema. Screen every five years*

Screening tests that detect cancer:

  • Fecal immunochemical test (FIT). This test is currently recommended as the preferred occult blood screening test based on cost, specificity and sensitivity. Screen every year*, **
  • Guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT): Screen every year*, **
  • Stool DNA test (sDNA): Screen every three years*

*Colonoscopy should be done if test results are positive

**Highly sensitive versions of these tests should be used with the take-home multiple sample method. A gFOBT or FIT done during a digital rectal exam in the physician’s office is not adequate for screening.

Contact Us

Premier Health offers an extensive network of experienced cancer specialists, close to home, who welcome your referrals. Find a cancer specialist best suited to your patient’s unique needs.

Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center.