Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States, and it’s also one of the most preventable. That’s thanks to screening tests like colonoscopies, which can detect early signs of the disease and help save lives.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with an estimated 226,000 new cases diagnosed in 2018.1 The majority (approximately two thirds) of colon cancers are adenocarcinomas, which originate from the glandular component of the colon and can start anywhere along the length of the bowel.2 However, other types of colon cancer can also occur, including squamous cell carcinomas and adenomas.3
Screening for colon cancer begins with a physical exam by your doctor. If you are at risk for developing colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommend having a screening test called a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). This test looks for blood in your stool that may be from cancerous cells.4 A less frequently used screening test is the home rectal exam (HRE), which does not use a stool sample.5
If you are screened and have abnormal results from your FOBT or HRE, you may be referred to a colorectal surgeon for further evaluation.6 In some cases, your doctor may also recommend a colonoscopy to view the entire length of your bowel.7 If you are found to
The Types of Tests that are Used to Screen for Colon Cancer
The most common test used to screen for colon cancer is the fecal occult blood test. This test uses a small sample of your urine or feces to look for changes in the amount of red and white blood cells. A change in this number may be a sign that you have colon cancer.
Another common test used to screen for colon cancer is the sigmoidoscopy. This test involves making an indirect image of your rectum through a thin, long tube (sigmoidoscope). The doctor can see if there are any changes in the size, shape, or appearance of your rectum.
There are also other tests that may be used to screen for colon cancer, depending on the specific situation. For example, if you have a family history of colorectal cancer, your doctor may recommend colorectal cancer screening tests such as the prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine or fecal occult blood testing with immunochemical assay for HNPCC mutation.
What are the Potential Benefits of Colon Cancer Screening?
Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, with over 150,000 diagnoses each year. Although it is not as deadly as some other cancers, if left untreated, colon cancer can lead to death.
Although there is no known cure for colon cancer, early detection is key to achieving a successful outcome. This is why it is important for those at risk to get screened regularly for the disease. Colon cancer screening can be done through blood tests or rectal exams.
Screening for colon cancer can be very effective in identifying people who may have the disease and help ensure that they receive treatment early if necessary. Here are some of the potential benefits of screening for colon cancer:
– Detection of precancerous lesions in the colon can help prevent them from developing into cancer.
– Early detection of colon cancer allows for more effective treatment options and a higher chance of successful prognosis.
– Screening for colon cancer can help avoid unnecessary surgery and chemotherapy treatments.
– Colon cancer screening does not require any specific health conditions or prior medical history.
– There are several types of blood tests that can be used to screen for colon cancer,
Who is Eligible for Medicare Coverage of Colon Cancer Screening?
If you are age 65 or older, you may be eligible for Medicare coverage of colon cancer screening.
If you are a resident of a designated area (a geographic area in which the incidence of colon cancer is significantly higher than the national average), you may also be eligible for Medicare coverage of colon cancer screening.
If you are a Medicare beneficiary, ask your health plan about coverage of colon cancer screening.
How much does Medicare cover for Colon Cancer Screening?
Medicare covers colon cancer screening for certain individuals under certain circumstances. The coverage amount is based on your income and other factors. If you are eligible, Medicare will pay for the screening, typically at no cost to you. However, there may be some out-of-pocket expenses associated with the screening.
If you are age 65 or older, Medicare will cover a colonoscopy (a colonoscopy is a type of medical test that uses a camera to look into your intestine) every year as long as it is medically necessary and it is not already covered by another health insurance plan. If you are age 50 to 64, Medicare will cover a colonoscopy every two years if it is medically necessary and it is not already covered by another health insurance plan. If you are age 45 to 49, Medicare will cover a colonoscopy every three years if it is medically necessary and it is not already covered by another health insurance plan.
If you are under age 45, Medicare will only cover a colonoscopy every five years if it is medically necessary and it is not already covered by another health insurance plan.
If you have any questions about whether Medicare covers a specific type of
What should you do if you are found to have Colon Cancer?
If you are diagnosed with colon cancer, the most important thing to do is to consult with your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will help you determine the best course of action, including whether or not screening is recommended. Colon cancer screening can be done through a variety of methods, including digital rectal exam (DRE), fecal occult blood test (FOBT), or colonoscopy. If a screening method is recommended, follow the instructions your healthcare provider provides.
If you are age 65 or older and have been diagnosed with colon cancer, it is important that you know about the Medicare coverage of colorectal cancer screening. This comprehensive guide will tell you everything you need to know about Medicare screenings for colorectal cancer, including what tests are covered and which ones are not. By following the guidelines outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your Medicare insurance will cover all of your colorectal cancer screening needs.