The Importance of Health Screenings


Colorectal screening is the process of looking for cancer or pre-cancer in people who don’t have any symptoms of the disease. Regular colorectal cancer screening can often find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when it might be easier to treat. According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death for both men and women. If the cancer is found at an early stage, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 90%. Only about 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found at this early stage and when cancer has spread outside of the colon or rectum, survival rates are even lower.

One way to test for colorectal cancer is to look for hidden blood in the stool. Blood vessels inside of polyps (precancerous) or cancers in the intestine are often sensitive and easily damaged by the passage of stool. This will bleed into the colon, and sometime the human eye can’t actually see the blood. By giving a sample of your stool yearly, a lab can test it to find any hidden blood. SMH will provide you with the colorectal screening items. You can collect the sample at home or in a private restroom at SMH. Then the sample needs to be returned to our lab. It is important to have this test done every year. If this test is positive, we will notify your primary care provider to perform a colonoscopy which will be needed to find the reason for the bleeding. Although blood in the stool can be from cancers or polyps, it can also have other causes, such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, a weak spots in the colon wall (diverticulosis), or inflammatory bowel disease (colitis).

Another preventative measure you should take is a glucose screening.A blood glucose screening determines the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood to check for diabetes or pre-diabetes. When testing blood glucose, a small sample of blood is collected from your fingertip, put on a strip and placed into a glucose monitor. If you are fasting when you have this screening, a glucose level of less than 100 is considered normal. If you have eaten prior to screening, a glucose level less than 200 is considered normal. If your level is outside of these ranges, further screening will be required and we will notify your primary care provider with the result.

So, take these two preventative measures for your health, and schedule your colorectal cancer screening at St. Martin Hospital Today.

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