Health Net Urges Men to Be Screened for Colorectal Cancer | Be Korea-savvy

Health Net Urges Men to Be Screened for Colorectal Cancer

“Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum” (image: Kobizmedia/ Korea Bizwire)

“Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum” (image: Kobizmedia/ Korea Bizwire)

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LOS ANGELES, June 13, 2014 (Korea Bizwire)–With June being Men’s Health Month, Health  Net, Inc. is working to educate men regarding the importance of  being screened for colorectal cancer. The Centers for Disease Control  and Prevention (CDC) reports that colorectal cancer is the third-most  common cancer among men.

“According to the CDC, in 2010, more than 27,000 men died from colon  cancer,” said Patricia Buss, M.D., medical and health care services  operations officer for Health Net. “If we can help to increase the  number of men being screened, particularly those over age 50, we can  help to significantly reduce the death toll.”

Colon Cancer Overview

“Based on CDC statistics, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause  of cancer-related death from cancers that affect both men and women,”  said Buss. “Colorectal screenings could help prevent at least 60 percent  of the more than 50,000 deaths from colorectal cancer each year.”

Regular colorectal cancer screenings are critical because, in its early  stages, the disease generally isn’t accompanied by symptoms. If detected  early, however, it can be treated much more effectively.

“Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum,”  said Buss, “and, over time, some polyps can become malignant. Not only  can a screening test help find polyps that can be removed before they  become cancerous, but these tests also can help detect colorectal cancer  in its early, more treatable stage.”

The CDC notes that a person’s risk for colorectal cancer may be higher  than average if he or she:

  • has a close relative who has had colorectal polyps or colorectal  cancer;
  • has inflammatory bowel disease; or
  • has a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis or  hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.

Those who are at higher risk should consult with their physician  regarding when they should have a colorectal screening.

Although early-stage colon cancer generally does not come with symptoms,  as the disease progresses, symptoms can appear, including:

  • bloody stool;
  • persistent stomach pain or cramps; and
  • unexplained weight loss.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your health care  provider immediately.

Screening Guidelines

Based on CDC guidelines, men who are not at an increased risk for  colorectal cancer should have their first screening at age 50. At age  80, men should consult their physician regarding the need for continued  screenings. There are three primary types of screening tests:

  • High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT) – This test involves  collecting a stool sample at home that is then analyzed at a lab;
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy – Using a sigmoidoscope, the doctor looks for  polyps or cancer in the rectum and lower third of the colon; and
  • Colonoscopy – With the assistance of a colonoscope, the physician  looks for polyps or cancer in the rectum, as well as in the entire  colon.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), if the FOBT is the  only screening being done, it should be conducted annually. The NCI  recommends a sigmoidoscopy every five years, along with FOBT every three  years. Additionally, the NCI advises a colonoscopy be conducted every 10  years.

Medical Advice Disclaimer

The information provided is not intended as medical advice or as a  substitute for professional medical care. Always seek the advice of your  physician or other health provider for any questions you may have  regarding your medical condition and follow your health care provider’s  instructions.

About Health Net

Health  Net, Inc. (HNT) is a publicly traded managed care organization  that delivers managed health care services through health plans and  government-sponsored managed care plans. Its mission is to help people  be healthy, secure and comfortable. Health Net provides and administers  health benefits to approximately 5.5 million individuals across the  country through group, individual, Medicare (including the Medicare  prescription drug benefit commonly referred to as “Part D”), Medicaid,  U.S. Department of Defense, including TRICARE, and Veterans Affairs  programs. Health Net also offers behavioral health, substance abuse and  employee assistance programs, managed health care products related to  prescription drugs, managed health care product coordination for  multi-region employers, and administrative services for medical groups  and self-funded benefits programs.

Source: Health Net (via BusinessWire)

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