Group Health doctors recently reported that offering an in-home colon cancer screening kit makes patients more likely to get screened for the disease by offering an alternative to unpleasant colonoscopies. The kits allow patients to check their own stools for blood, alerting them to whether they need to visit their physician for further testing or treatment. The kits are also particularly helpful for patients who live in rural communities, where colon cancer rates are disproportionately high, as it saves a trip to the doctor that may have otherwise been put off. Group Health tracked screening rates for three years.
Colon cancer kills 100,000 Americans each year, and preventable colon cancer deaths cost the U.S. economy $6.4 billion each year. Early colon cancer detection can be a life-saver. Click here to read more about the study. (Tim Pfarr)