Answers to Common Cancer Prevention Questions

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about cancer prevention.

Why are some colon cancer screenings chosen over others?

Dr. Kenneth Reed discusses why to choose one colon cancer screening over another. Click play to watch the video or

Why are some colon cancer screenings chosen over others?

A colonoscopy is again the gold standard for colon cancer screening, again because it is a test that can prevent colon cancer and also detect it. None of the other tests are like that. Most of them are basically finding colon cancer when it has occurred. So if you do a stool test for blood or a FIT test or a Cologuard test, when those become positive, it means that there is something there, usually that's causing those tests to become positive. A colonoscopy again: you can go up there and take off polyps, prevent the disease ... If you find an early stage cancer, you can take that out and it's about a 95 - 96% cure rate. If you do something like a barium enema, a FIT test or a fecal occult test, a Cologuard test, those are again looking ... are finding things that are already a problem.


The main difference among the variety of colorectal cancer screenings available is that some tests only find existing cancer, while other tests find cancer and polyps, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

And with the second variety of tests, if a polyp is found, it can usually be removed during the screening to help prevent future colorectal cancer.

Talk with your doctor to learn more about the different types of screenings and decide which is right for you.

Learn more:

Source: Susan Davis-Brown, MD, Brookville Family Care; Dori Thompson, MD, Springboro Family Medicine; Marcus Washington, MD, Premier Health Family Medicine; Chandan Gupta, MD, Monroe Medical Center; Joshua Ordway, MD, Franklin Family Practice; Mark Ringle, MD, Beavercreek Family Physicians; Douglas Gaker, MD, Premier Urology Center; J. Scott Wilcher, MD, North Dayton Surgeons; Todd Hicks, Premier Plastic Surgeons; Geetha Ambalavanan, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Kenneth Reed, DO, Premier Gastroenterology Specialists; Thomas Heck, MD, Gem City Surgical Breast Cancer Center

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