“People tell me that they are scared to get screened, but I think it’s scarier if you have a tumor that the doctor can’t remove,” says a 51-year-old man named Robert in a recent Screening Stories article from The Centers for Disease Control (CDC). He goes on to say, “If I hadn’t been screened, I wouldn’t have been able to see my son go off to college or enjoy this next chapter of my life with my wife and family.”
This is just one of many stories that stress the importance of early screening, especially if, in this case, colorectal cancer (CRC) runs in the family. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2022 there will be more than 106,000 new cases of colon cancer, and more than 44,000 new cases of rectal cancer.
It’s easy to assume that if you don’t have symptoms, you don’t have colorectal cancer. But the truth is many people don’t experience any symptoms in the early stages. That’s why screening is so important. Colorectal cancer is highly preventable and highly curable if caught early.
It’s recommended that adults start getting tested for CRC beginning at age 45, no matter their risk level. Those with increased risk due to lifestyle, family history, or ethnicity should consider screening earlier and more often.
Since the mid-1980s the number of CRC cases has continued to drop overall, and from 2013-2017 cases dropped 1% annually. This decrease in cases is largely due to an increase in early screenings and a positive shift in lifestyle-related risk factors which include obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet, smoking, and moderate-to-heavy alcohol consumption.
Even with the number of cases dropping, colorectal cancer is still the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance reports that 1 in 24 people will get colorectal cancer in their lifetime, but that when detected early, the disease has a 90 percent survival rate.
Historically, the primary way to test for colorectal cancer is an invasive procedure, called a colonoscopy, that must be completed in-person by a physician, with dietary preparation done by the patient in the days leading up the appointment. But BioIQ is changing colorectal screenings for the better. We offer a simple solution that can be completed by the patient in the privacy and convenience of the home without ever going into a doctor’s office.
We measure this through a test called a fecal immunochemical test (FIT), which samples hidden blood in the stool. This sample is then sent to a lab for testing and resulted back to the participant through our online portal where they can also view next steps and even speak with a physician via telehealth. Our platform includes advanced analytics that can identify the right populations to test and highlight the right health actions each user should take.
BioIQ’s mission is to save lives by helping people all over the country detect diseases like colorectal cancer early and get the help they need. We partner directly with health plans, enterprise companies, and government agencies to positively affect the lives of member and employee populations. Contact us to learn more about how we can partner with you organization today.