Thursday, March 12, 2009
Scripps Health is offering a home screening program to help people find out if they're at risk for colorectal cancer. The disease killed 50-thousand people in the U.S. last year. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.
The home screening program allows people to collect a small stool sample for what's called a fecal occult blood test. Blood in the stool can be one indicator of colorectal cancer.
The home kit contains a stamped pre-addressed envelope for participants to send to a lab. Scripps surgeon Dana Launer calls the test the first step to screen for the disease.
"I would recommend in any case, that people over age 50 contact their physicians, to decide which of the additional tests is necessary to assure them that they don't have colorectal cancer," says Dr. Launer.
Dr. Launer says colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the U.S. Even so, only about half of Americans get screened for it.
Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.