This Test Can Save a Life

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month – a time to promote education on colorectal cancer and the importance of screening for early detection. Screenings are conducted year-around at BVMI. In cooperation with Bergen County's Cancer Education and Early Detection (CEED) program, our patients who are 50 years and older (or younger with symptoms) are provided with screening kits to test for fecal occult blood. Should a test be returned positive, our patients are eligible for a free colonoscopy and a gastroenterology consultation through CEED. 

This was the case for Louis, a 52-year-old patient, and father of three, who has been coming to us since 2016 and is being treated for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Being over 50, it was time for Louis to be tested. BVMI Assistant Nurse Manager, Melanie Zingler, talked to Louis about the purpose and importance of the screening for colorectal cancer and explained the steps involved in taking the test. Louis's results came back positive, which meant there was an issue and a need for further testing. He was immediately referred for a colonoscopy, which revealed multiple polyps, a precursor to colorectal cancer. Fortunately, the polyps were benign, but Louis will need to be tested again in three years as a preventive measure. Louis and his family are very grateful to BVMI for educating him on the importance of early detection of colorectal cancer and - quite possibly - for saving his life.