Last year at this time many businesses and organizations were shut down, due to the global pandemic. This included some health services, which led to a significant drop in cancer screenings, specifically colonoscopies

Cancer screenings are important, and early detection is key to a treatable cure.

March is Colorectal Cancer Month and the (CPS) Cancer Services Program of the Southern Tier reminds you that screenings can be conducted safely at home using a stool-based test.

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According to a news release from the Broome County Health Department the CPS has always used thee tests to screen average risk people for colorectal cancer.

CSP Outreach Coordinator Allison Holleran says “Stool-based tests, such as the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), are safe and effective. The test is done once a year by sending a small amount of stool to a lab where it is checked for blood. If the test comes back abnormal, a colonoscopy is needed to find out if the blood is from cancer.”

If you’re 50 or older and have no history of colon cancer in your family you should have a colonoscopy, some doctors recommend having one every ten years.

When I had my first colonoscopy, the doctor found a few polyps that were not cancerous, but they can turn to cancer if not removed, so because the polyps were there, I have a colonoscopy every five years.

My second colonoscopy also revealed a few non-cancerous polyps that were removed and I will have another procedure in about three years.

Most insurances will pay for them, or a great deal of the cost, and more importantly they can save your life.

Talk to your doctor about the procedure, and mention the home screening, but if you fall in the testing category, please don’t put it off.

For more information about the program, call the Southern Tier Cancer Services Program at (607) 778-3900.

WNBF reminds you to get your screenings during Colorectal Cancer Month.

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