Viva Health Blog

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS –
GETTING SCREENED FOR COLORECTAL CANCER

Did you know that colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States?

More than 90 percent of colorectal cancer diagnoses occur in people age 50 years and older. The American Cancer Society suggests that all men and women begin regular screenings for colorectal cancer at age 50. If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, polyps, or inflammatory bowel disease (among other risk factors), talk to your doctor about undergoing screenings earlier and more often.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services believes that if all men and women age 50 and older were screened regularly, 6 out of 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented. Often, there are no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer until it has reached a relatively advanced stage. Early detection greatly improves the chances for a full recovery. Don’t avoid or delay getting screened. Contact your doctor today!

SCREENING OPTIONS

All Viva Health plans cover colorectal cancer screening and many plans offer the following routine screening options for free for members ages 50-75. See your plan documents for more information.

  1. Colonoscopy every 10 years – a procedure that inspects the rectum and entire length of the colon that typically requires a trip to a hospital or clinic and involves sedation. Polyps found can be removed during the procedure, preventing cancer in addition to detecting or removing it.
  2. Flexible sigmoidoscopy once every 5 years – similar to a colonoscopy but involves a shorter tube and inspects the rectum and the lower part of the colon, generally without sedation. Polyps found can be removed during the procedure during the procedure, but if they are pre-cancerous or cancerous, you will need a colonoscopy to look at the rest of the colon.
  3. Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) once a year at home. Ask your doctor if this is the right screening option for you. These tests mainly find cancer and are not as good at detecting polyps. If the test is positive, a colonoscopy is usually required. Cologuard is not a covered test, so please make sure the test your physician orders is covered.

Viva Health Resources

Contact Us

Viva Health, Inc
417 20th Street North, Suite 1100
Birmingham, AL 35203

Monday - Friday from 8am - 6pm

Viva Health Customer Services
(205) 558-7474
(800) 294-7780
vivamemberhelp@uabmc.edu

We're here for you

If you have questions or complaints about your Viva Health plan or care that you have received, we want you to let us know right away.

© 2019 Viva Health, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Statement




Viva Medicare complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-800-294-7780 (TTY: 711).

注意:如果您使用繁體中文,您可以免費獲得語言援助服務. 請致電 1-800-294-7780 (TTY: 711).