Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related death. In the US in 2016, it is estimated that 134,490 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer and 49,190 people will die from the disease (American Cancer Society, 2016). Colon cancer is preventable. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults between 50 and 75 years old—about 23 million people—are not getting screened as recommended. Screening saves lives, but only if people actually get screened (NCCRT, 2016).
The least invasive, least expensive form of screening uses annual home stool tests, also known as Fecal Occult blood tests (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical tests (FIT). If done yearly and with good follow-up, FIT or FOBT can prevent colorectal cancer or catch it early when it can be cured. Colorectal cancer screening programs that emphasize the use of FIT and FOBT as initial screening tests have been shown to be similarly effective to programs that emphasize more invasive tests, such as colonoscopy. http://www.flufit.org
FluFIT programs help clinical teams increase access to colorectal cancer screening by offering home tests to patients at the time of their annual flu shots. Every fall, as millions of Americans are getting flu shots, there lies an opportunity to reach people who are also due for colorectal screening. FluFIT campaigns are recommended by many national organizations including the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, National Cancer Institute, and American Cancer Society. Successful FluFIT and FluFOBT Programs have been implemented in public and private clinic settings as well as pharmacies.