The New Colon Cancer Screening Test You Can Do At Home
posted March 29, 2018
Bottom. Heinie. Bum. Tush. Badonkadonk. Rump. Caboose. Derriere. Fanny.
Whatever you call yours, Squatty Potty wants to help save your ‘backside’ by raising awareness of colorectal cancer, and what better time than Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month!
Colorectal cancer—which affects the colon or rectum—is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. It is also the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. among men and women. Fortunately, it is one of the most preventable cancers. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 percent of deaths might be prevented through regular screenings. In fact, if Colorectal Cancer is detected at its earliest stage, the survival rate is greater than 90 percent (we like those odds!) Although, studies show about 1 in 3 adults are not getting the recommended testing. We want to change that.
Colorectal cancer typically begins as a polyp (a growth on the inner wall of the colon or rectum) and might not produce symptoms at first. Screening tests, such as a colonoscopy, can find these polyps so they can be removed before becoming cancerous. The CDC recommends that most healthy people have an initial screening soon after turning 50, then continue having screenings at regular intervals. However, colon and rectal cancer in young adults is on the rise, 90% for colon cancer and 124.2% for rectal cancer for people aged 20-34 years old, to be exact. With no screening guidelines, young adults are being misdiagnosed due to their age, diagnosed at later stages and left with diminished survival rates. We at Squatty Potty provide this information not to alarm you, but to arm you with the information and insight you need to preserve the health of you and your family. If you have a colon, you’re at risk- so we suggest and support screenings at any age.
Not so very long ago, colonoscopy was the gold standard for colon cancer screening. But times are a-changing. Lucky for you, there’s a new type of screening that can be done in the comfort of your own home; introducing the FIT test. The FIT test, or fecal immunochemical blood test, is a newer and more accurate way to test for blood in stool, which can be a symptom of colon cancer. The small print: for FIT testing to be successful, you will need to test annually. Less invasive but more often isn’t so crappy, right?
Along with getting routinely screened, we also strongly suggest being aware of the signs and symptoms that come with Colorectal Cancer. Consult your doctor if you notice any of the following warning signs on a regular basis:
- Changes in your bowel habits
- Alternating diarrhea and constipation
- Rectal bleeding; blood in your stool; or black, tarry stools
- Abdominal bloating, cramps, or discomfort
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Stools that are thinner than normal
Keep in mind, prevention is always the best medicine. Unfortunately, we tend to abuse the very core of our health — our guts. We eat junk food and lead sedentary lives in relatively toxic environments, and expect our bodies to cope. To be healthy, you may need to consider making some changes to your diet and lifestyle, specifically changes that are gut-friendly. In fact, we posted some suggestions on our blog, “Restoring Intestinal Flora Leads to a Healthy Gut and Happy Poop.” And if you find that helpful, you may also want to check out “Don’t Get Your Colon in a Knot: The Anxiety-Pooping Connection.”
What About Squatting?
At Squatty Potty, we would like to think that our product could help reduce the growing incidence of colorectal cancer, but in the spirit of transparency, we cannot yet make that claim. However, we remain convinced, based on clinical evidence and advice from doctors who have treated patients for constipation, hemorrhoids, and other colorectal issues, that squatting to poop is healthier than sitting for your colon, rectum, and overall health. Squatting clears the corridor, spreading your buttocks, relaxing the puborectalis muscle, and lifting the sigmoid colon to remove the kink at the entrance to the rectum. As a result, when you squat to poop, you don’t need to push nearly as much, and your elimination is cleaner and more complete. For more about the negative health consequences of sitting to poop and why squatting is better, check out our post “5 Problems With Sitting On Your Toilet.”
*Photo is of one of our own Squatty Potty employees saying goodbye to her beloved brother after he battled 12 brutal years of stage 4 colon cancer. Colorectal Cancer Awareness and screening is a topic we strongly stand behind here at Squatty Potty.
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Disclaimer: This blog post on colon cancer provides general information and discussion about medical issues and health-related subject matter. The words and other content provided in this post, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If you or any other person has a medical concern, consult with an appropriately licensed physician or other health care professional immediately and do not rely on the information presented in this post. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog post or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.