Screen For Life

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the US; with early detection, treatment is often very successful with a survival rate close to 90%.

Our primary care physicians committed to improving the screening rate for colonoscopies in adults over 50; currently, the national average rests at about 63%. Premier’s providers we successful at raising the screening rate for our patients to over 80%.

Protecting your health so you never face a health crisis is our foremost approach to your care.

Background

Our Chief Quality Officer, Dr. Francis Colangelo, initiated the CDC’s national program, Screen For Life, within Premier to drive awareness of the key facts pertaining to colorectal cancer (see below) and commit our clinical teams to raise screening rates.

With many of our health initiatives, electronic health platforms will help identify our target patient population.  In this case, we are referring to adults over 50 or those with family history of colon cancer.

 

Our Results

All primary care physicians and their clinical teams committed to working with patients to complete screenings.  Patients were provided two options for testing – colonoscopy or FIT (fecal immunochemical test).

In a matter of months, our screening rate for our adult patients was at 80% across all of primary care.  The real success was the early detection of precancerous conditions in some of our patients.  This early detection will in all likelihood save their lives.

 

Why It Matters To You

Elevating the standard of care is an ongoing endeavor at Premier.  Common sense supports the better your health the less care you’ll need; therefore, preventive care is a focal point in our approach to care delivery at every age.

In the case of colorectal cancer, early detection and prevention are the best weapons in our fight against this leading cause of cancer-related deaths.  When screening rates increase from 63% to 80%, there is approximately a 60% decline in cancer deaths.  That is a powerful statistic.

 

Important Facts About Colon Cancer

Early detection has a high survival rate at nearly 90%.

Cancer screening begins at age 50 for every ten years until age 75 for adults without high-risk conditions.

High-risk patients are those who have close relatives diagnosed with colon cancer or the patient experience inflammatory bowel disease. Early screening is necessary for these adults.

A colonoscopy is the most comprehensive and advanced procedure to prevent cancer with the opportunity to locate and remove abnormal growths (polyps).

Colon cancer in many cases is slow to develop; therefore it can take abnormal growths (polyps) between five and ten years to become cancerous.

Recommended colorectal screening options

Colonoscopy

Recommended every 10 years beginning with age 50.  This procedure can be performed in an outpatient location or the hospital by Premier’s gastroenterologists.  It requires 24-hour advance preparation and dietary restrictions.  Post-procedure, patients will need outside assistance of a friend or relative to be release and return home.

FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test)

This is a discreet, in-home test that should be performed annually for patients who opt out of colonoscopy screening.  The test pack contains a small brush to collect stool during a bowel moment.  Laboratory analysis will determine any presence of human hemoglobin (blood), which could indicate bleeding in the lower abdomen or rectum where cancer originates.