Temple Health promotes the importance of at-home colon cancer screening
Health

Addressing Barriers to Early Colon Cancer Detection at Temple Health

Health experts have noticed a decline in new cases of colon cancer among older adults, thanks to advancements in screening techniques. These improvements allow for early detection and treatment, increasing the chances of a cure. However, despite these developments, many adults who are eligible for routine screening at age 45 do not undergo preventative colonoscopies. This can lead to individuals not realizing they have colon or rectal cancer until it has progressed to an advanced stage.

Temple Health is working hard to improve access to screening options and address racial disparities in outcomes. Dr. Abraham Ifrah, an internal medicine resident at Temple, emphasizes the importance of reaching marginalized individuals who often face barriers in accessing life-saving screenings. Colonoscopies are considered the most effective screening method for colorectal cancer, as they can detect polyps and tumors at all stages. However, the procedure involves drinking a laxative solution the day before to cleanse the colon and being performed under anesthesia.

To address these challenges, Temple Health is promoting alternative screening methods such as take-home fecal immunochemical tests (FIT). These tests can be completed from home and do not require any additional medical intervention. Factors such as lack of transportation, health insurance, and paid time off can pose obstacles to individuals seeking preventative care. By promoting alternative screening methods and addressing barriers to access, Temple Health aims to increase early detection and improve outcomes for individuals at risk of colorectal cancer.

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