Gastroenterology

Financial incentives didn’t increase completion rates of colorectal cancer screening tests mailed to patients. In a randomized clinical trial of almost 900 patients, none of the incentives (an unconditional $10, a promised $10 upon completion of the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) kit to test for blood in a stool sample or chance at a lottery with a 1-in-10 chance of winning $100) was statistically better than no financial incentive to entice patients to complete the FIT.

Improve response rates

The overall FIT completion rate at six months is nearly 29%  but the incentives use in this study may have been too small to improve response rates.No one looks forward to a bowel prep that goes with some colorectal cancer screening tests. But colorectal cancer screening testing to look for cancer before symptoms start  can help save lives.

Screening can find colorectal cancer early when it’s small and might be easier to treat. There are several different screening options available. No matter which one you choose, the important thing is to be tested. Stool-based tests are non-invasive colorectal cancer screening options. No special diet or bowel preparation (no laxatives or enemas) is required for a stool-based test.

Abnormal signs of blood

However, if the test does show abnormal signs of blood or a possible cancer or pre-cancer; a colonoscopy will be needed to confirm the result; and possibly to remove any abnormal findings or polyps. It’s important to remember the cause of an abnormal result may be a non-cancerous condition, such as ulcers or hemorrhoids.

Stool-based tests are not the best option for everyone. They are recommend for people who have an average risk for colorectal cancer: no personal history of pre-cancerous polyps; no colorectal cancer that runs in the family, or no other risk factors.

Colorectal cancer testing

Regular screening is one of the most powerful ways to prevent colorectal cancer. If polyps are find during colorectal cancer testing, they are usually be remove before they have the chance to turn into cancer. Testing can also result in finding cancer early; when it’s smaller and might be easier to treat.
If you’re 45 or older, talk to your doctor about which screening test is right for you; and talk to your insurance company about coverage. It’s important to get test as often as recommend. No matter what your age; talk to your doctor about your family medical history. People at higher risk for colorectal cancer because of family history or certain health conditions might need to start screening earlier than age 45.