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Understanding At Home Colon Cancer Screening

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There are many medical services that have at-home options. These options allow you to handle certain screening tests that would normally be handled by a nurse or doctor in the office. By having them at home, you can have the personal space you need to face the screening and move through any emotions you have about it. One of these screenings is a colon cancer screening. If your doctor suggests this type of screening, here are a few key points to understand. 

Fasting and Cleansing

When you have a colonoscopy done, your physician may state you need to prepare. This preparation means fasting for several hours, leading up to your colonoscopy. You may also be told to perform a colon cleansing. This is usually done with a series of liquid medicine dosages that help clean out your system. When you are using an at-home colon screening, you generally do not need to prepare. You can simply use the at-home screening kit without the need for cleansing and for fasting. 

Collection of the Sample

You will need to collect your own stool sample for the at-home colon screening kit. The kit comes with a collection method that is explained in the enclosed instructions. Depending on the kit you use, you may have a full collection system or you may have an attachment for your toilet. Once the sample is collected, you will scrape an amount and place it on the enclosed collection sample cards or tube. This is sent to the lab and is used to determine if you are having issues related to colon cancer. 

Issues with Collection

There are several issues that may prevent you from collecting and sending your sample. The most common issue is seeing blood in your stool. If there is blood in your stool or you think there is blood, contact your physician. Do not take the at-home colon cancer screening test if there is blood. Depending on the screening kit, you may also need to abstain from using the kit if you are constipated or have diarrhea since both can cause stress and bleeding in your rectum. 

If you are concerned about any part of the colon cancer screening process, you can discuss the concerns with your physician. They will help you through the process and answer any concerns you have. They can also discuss how the test is processed and how long it may take to receive results.