March Is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Get Tested.
An article about colon cancer testing may seem irrelevant at a time when everyone is discussing coronavirus, but let’s not forget that there are equally important health risks lurking in the shadows.
Assessing patients for colon cancer is part of my functional medicine comprehensive gastrointestinal evaluation that all of my patients over 45 years old receive, especially those with a strong family history of colon cancer and those who have endured long-term severe symptoms of gastrointestinal/ GI dysfunction, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease and chronic constipation. To do this I use the Cologuard Stool Test. Once in a while the Cologuard test comes back positive, and it is very gratifying to pick up colon cancer at an early stage when it has the greatest chance to be treated. Of course, I also proceed to investigate my patient’s biochemistry to find the underlying causes of colon cancer so that it does not recur, which usually includes a search for genetic vulnerabilities and an in-depth stool test to find abnormalities in my patient’s microbiome.