Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Screening
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in
both men and women in the United States and is the third leading
cause of cancer related deaths in men and women in the United
States, but it is also largely preventable. It is important to have
regular colonoscopies after age 45 through 75 to detect polyps and
remove them before they turn into cancer. Colorectal Cancer is
preventable and highly curable when it is found early.
From the time th
e first abnormal cells start to grow into polyps, it usually takes a
bout 10-15 years for them to develop into Colorectal Cancer, whic
h is why it is important to get screened regularly. You may be at an i
ncreased risk if there has been colorectal polyps or colorectal c
ancer in your family, or you have inflammatory bowel disease; such
as, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or you have a genetic
syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or
hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
The Marion County Health Department is offering FREE Colorectal
Cancer Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kits. It is recommended
that adults begin screenings at age 45-75. This non-invasive
screening is for anyone 45-75 years of age who has NOT had a
colonoscopy in the last 10 years, a sigmoidoscopy in the last 5
years, or history of colon cancer or prior colon resection. If your
tests detects blood in the stool then, a referral will be made to your
health care provider to determine the cause of the abnormal test
result. The American Cancer Society and Center for Disease
Control and Prevention recommend that you repeat FIT screenings
once every year or receive a colonoscopy once every 10 years so
that polyps can be detected and removed early.
Call the health department at 618-548-3878 to see if a FIT screening
is right for you.