Colonoscopies and FIT Screening
Who is at risk for colon cancer?
More than 50,000 Americans die of colon cancer each year.
And you might be at greater risk for colon cancer if you:
- Have a family history of colon cancer
- Have a personal history of colon cancer, colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease).
If you are at greater risk, you may need to be screened earlier or more often. You might also have different options for how you are screened depending on your age, family history and risk factors. This is a discussion you should have with your primary care provider.
- If you are age 50 to 75 years old, you should get screened for colorectal cancer.
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening beginning at age 50. Some groups recommend starting earlier, at the age of 45.
- The vast majority of new cases of colorectal cancer (about 90%) occur in people who are 50 or older.
- Millions of people in the United States are not getting screened as recommended. They are missing the chance to prevent colorectal cancer or find it early, when treatment often leads to a cure.
- If you think you may be at increased risk for colorectal cancer, learn from your family health history and ask your primary care provider if you should begin screening before age 50.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Getting started with your screening
The first step toward the peace of mind that comes with a colon screening is to make an appointment with your primary care provider to see which screening is best for you.
- You will need a referral from your primary care doctor to undergo a colonoscopy.
- MetroHealth offers colonoscopies at our Cleveland Heights, Main Campus and Parma Medical Center locations.
- To schedule a colonoscopy, call 216-778-5381.
For patients who have an average to low risk of colorectal cancer, a FIT (fecal immunochemical test) screening is another option. It's important to note that high risk patients should always undergo colonoscopy screenings.
If your primary care provider determined the FIT screening is right for you, he or she will place the order. Call or use MyChart to have the kit mailed to you (see instructions below):
1. Call us at 216-957-2550. You can choose from the following:
- Have it mailed to your home address
- Pick it up at a previously-scheduled appointment
- Schedule a pick-up time
2. Use MyChart account to have a kit mailed to you.
Click on the MyChart link that states "Make an appointment. We have sent you a new scheduling ticket" and follow the instructions.
- The FIT screening is easy and can be performed in the privacy of your own bathroom at home.
- It requires no preparation or change to your diet.
- You will mail in your sample.