An Easy Way to Screen for Colon Disease You Don’t Want to ‘Pooh-Pooh’

(SD-SP) Some may think talking about their poo is taboo, but we’ve got good news for you – screening for colon cancer can be done in the comfort of your own home.

First, what exactly is colon cancer and who is at risk for it?

According to the Mayo Clinic, colon cancer, which occurs in the large intestine, can happen at any age but it typically affects adults older than 50 (researchers are also noticing an increased risk for those over 45 now, too).

Can it be prevented?

Cancerous cells of the colon can start out as benign clumps, called polyps, that can be removed before they may become cancerous. According to the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy more than 40% of those over 50 years old have precancerous polyps in the colon. However, there are very few ways to know if you have polyps without screening for them, as they generally do not cause symptoms unless they are very large, according to the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons.

Is screening simple?

That is why screening for colon cancer is so important. Yet there are still 1 in 3 U.S. adults who aren’t up to date with their screenings, according to the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable.  The good news is there are many recommended methods for screening. While many people may think that means a dreaded invasive colonoscopy, that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case if you are not at increased risk.

There are other methods that can detect blood in your stool that isn’t visible to the naked eye (which could be an indicator of cancer), such as fecal immunochemical tests (FIT) or fecal occult blood tests (FOBT). One example of those is EZ Detect™ made by Biomerica, a global biomedical technology company that makes advanced diagnostic and therapeutic products.

EZ Detect™ is very simple: “go” in the toilet and then throw in the EZ Detect test pad in, wait two minutes for the pad to change color, and then flush. Of course, read the instructions in the package carefully before using.  Unlike other tests, you don’t need to handle or touch the stool itself, you don’t have to restrict your diet before using the test, and its easy and fast – nothing to mail and no wait for a lab to process results. EZ Detect retails for under $13 and its available online at the and Walmart, as well as at Walgreens in store and online. If the test is positive, then you should discuss next steps for further testing with a doctor.

If colon cancer is found at an early stage before it has spread, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 90%, according to the American Cancer Society. Two minutes of time every year, through EZ Detect, can help identify hidden blood in the stool, an early warning sign of colorectal cancer. Don’t pooh-pooh your colon health!