Crown’s Director of Employee Health Services, Dr. David Louis, shares his medical and personal insight on the importance of a colon cancer screening.
Why educate employees on the importance getting screened?
Each year, one to two employees are diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. Many skipped their preventive screening and only decided to go to the doctor because they were having symptoms. This tragic diagnosis doesn’t have to happen. Colon cancer is easily screened and if caught early, treatment is usually very successful.
When should an employee start their screening for colon cancer?
The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk start regular screenings at age 45. However, people with a history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease) or have a family history of colon cancer might need to start screening before age 45.
Some people don’t want to go through the prep of clearing the colon for a colonoscopy. Are there other colon cancer screening options?
There are a few options. Talk to your healthcare provider about which test might be best for you. The most important thing is to get screened. The options include:
- Cologuard®. This is a non-invasive screening option and does not require any prep or time off from work. If the results come back abnormal, a diagnostic colonoscopy will be needed to determine the reason.
- FIT Test (Fecal Immunochemical Test). This is also a non-invasive option and does not require any prep or time off from work. If the results come back abnormal, a diagnostic colonoscopy will be needed to determine the reason.
- Colonoscopy. This test does require the “prep”. It can prevent colon cancer by removing precancerous polyps before they become cancerous. Colon cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps.
Are these tests covered by insurance?
If a colonoscopy is billed as a preventive service, it is covered at 100% in-network. Other testing options may be covered as a preventive service. It is important that your Provider verifies your benefit coverage prior to providing services.
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