As the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States alone, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women, with the current lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon or the rectum) estimated to be about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). 
Screening is what’s used to spot cancer before it begins to show symptoms. As of 2018, ACS lowered its colon cancer screening age guidelines from 50 to 45 as a response to the rising rates of colon cancer cases among those under the age of 50. There are a number of colorectal cancer screening tests including visual exams such as a colonoscopy, or stool-based tests such as LetsGetChecked’s at-home fecal immunochemical test (FIT) test which can be done from home.
How can I screen myself for colon cancer?
The risk of developing colon cancer can be reduced by making healthy lifestyle changes - including prioritizing regular screening. If you’re aged 45 or older, have a family history of colorectal cancer, or have an inflammatory bowel disease - it’s important to get in touch with your doctor about your screening options.
There are several test options available for screening for colon cancer, including visual exams or stool-based tests. No matter what test you choose, the most important thing is that you get screened and, if you would prefer to screen from the comfort of your own home, the most reliable way is with an at-home screening test.
Recent statistics from the National Library of Medicine found that the availability of fecal immunochemical test (FIT) (which can be done from home with LetsGetChecked) are associated with increased screening rates.
LetsGetChecked’s at-home Bowel Cancer Screening Test can help identify the presence of cancerous or precancerous growths in the bowel by detecting blood that is invisible to the naked eye. Our dedicated team of nurses is available throughout the process for support and to offer any questions you may have.
The test will arrive in discreet packaging with a return envelope and clear instructions, though it may be helpful to check out the steps here before taking your stool sample collection.
What are the risk factors of colon cancer?
Although there are some risk factors that cannot be controlled such as age, family history, and race or ethnicity, there are risk factors that can be controlled.
Some risk factors associated with colon cancer include:
- Being overweight or obese
- Heavy alcohol use
- Older age
- Family history
Read more about the lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce your risk of colon cancer here.
You can screen for colon cancer at home with LetsGetChecked’s at-home Bowel Screening Test. The purpose of this test is to identify the presence of blood in the stool, which may be invisible to the naked eye.
You should consider taking the test if:
- You’re experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms
- You have a history of adenomas (benign tumors)
- You have inflammatory bowel disease* (which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
- You have an inherited syndrome (e.g. Lynch syndrome/HNPCC or FAP)
- You have type 2 diabetes
- You have undergone radiation therapy
If you have already noted blood in the stool, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider.