Year after year, Kathy Hall didn’t hesitate when it arrived in her mailbox.
“All I had to do was open the mail and follow the directions. It’s a simple test and one that saved my life,” said Kathy.
Kathy, a Kaiser Permanente member in Colorado, is referring to the fecal immunochemical test – or FIT test — a simple, in-home test that can detect the potential for colon cancer. She took the in-home screening test each year for nearly a decade. She sent in her most recent FIT a few months ago and promptly heard back from her physician that she’d need to come in for a follow-up appointment.
Kathy knew that meant she would need a colonoscopy. She was hesitant because she’d heard some negative anecdotes about the procedure. She spoke with her Kaiser Permanente physician, John Wagonlander, MD, and decided to go forward with the colonoscopy. She was surprised by the outcome.
“I was never uncomfortable,” she said. “I’m glad I went through with it and I’m glad my doctor walked me through it and convinced me to do it for my health.”
The colonoscopy revealed Kathy had four pre-cancerous polyps which were removed during the procedure. She is now doing fine and is thriving.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, yet one in three adults is not adequately screened.
“I’m so glad I kept doing the screenings,” said Kathy. The test caught something that could’ve been fatal. I’m 70 years old and have a lot more I want to do with my life.”