Breaking Down Barriers: Temple Health Advocates for Early Detection of Colorectal Cancer through Alternative Screening Methods

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

Temple Health is actively working to increase early detection and improve outcomes for individuals at risk of colorectal cancer. The medical providers at Temple Health are focusing on raising awareness about alternative screening options, such as take-home fecal immunochemical tests (FIT), for those who may face challenges in completing colonoscopies. Factors such as lack of transportation, health insurance, and paid time off can pose obstacles to individuals seeking preventative care.

One positive development in recent years is the decrease in new cases of colon cancer among older adults. This is largely attributed to advancements in screening techniques, which allow for early detection and treatment, increasing the chances of a cure. However, health experts have noted that many adults who are eligible for routine screening at age 45 do not undergo preventative colonoscopies. As a result, individuals may not realize they have colon or rectal cancer until it has progressed to an advanced stage.

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, as well as being performed under anesthesia. 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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