Colorectal Cancer Screening

Colorectal Cancer Screening & Prevention

NACA works with patients at our Family Health Center in providing colorectal cancer screenings and education to Native Americans. Native Americans, of both genders, between the ages of 50-75 years old, have a higher chance of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Colorectal Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among Native Americans and the 3rd leading cause of cancer death among the U.S population. In 2018, less than half (46.1%) of American Indian/Alaskan Native adults aged 50-75 were up to date with colorectal cancer screening.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colon cancer is a disease in the colon, or large intestine. The colon is responsible for removing fluid and nutrients from the food you eat, then pushing the waste into the rectum, where it can be expelled from the body. The term colorectal cancer includes disease that starts in either location.

Who should be screened?

Those with a family history of polyps, or colorectal cancer, should start 10 years prior to a loved one being diagnosed, or having a polyp found. Screening is recommended for all patients between 45 and 75 years of age, to be completed once a year.

Colorectal cancer is a preventable cancer, but the least prevented cancer. If routine tests are done to detect cancer at its earliest stage, more treatment options are available and more effective.

Do you want a FIT Kit or have questions?

  1. Become a NACA patient by scheduling an appointment to establish care with one of our 3 NACA health care providers. Already a patient of NACA? You can ask your provider about a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit at your next appointment.
  2. The health care provider will relay a message to NACA’s Colorectal Health Educator for you to obtain a screening test and kit called a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) kit, which can be used in the privacy of your own home.
  3. As a NACA patient, you can mail the FIT kit back OR bring the FIT kit back into the clinic.

What is a Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Kit?

FIT is a simple, non-invasive screening method for colorectal cancer. It is designed to test for small amounts of blood in the stool that cannot be seen with the naked eye. (It does not test for cancer). It is often used to detect bleeding in the digestive tract when there are no other signs or symptoms of a digestive problem. This test can be performed at home using the provided materials listed below. Enclosed in a FIT kit is:

(1) a self-addressed envelope

(1) test vial w/solution

(1) biohazard bag

(1) absorbent pad, and

(1) flushable stool collection paper along with instructions on how to use these materials

IMPORTANT

  • Do not do the FIT during a menstruation period or if you have active bleeding from external hemorrhoids.
  • Return the completed FIT kit by mail or in-person to NACA Family Health Center within 1 week of collecting your sample. (The stool sample is perishable for 5 days)