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Innovative Programs to Provide Colorectal Cancer Screening during Annual Influenza Vaccination Campaigns

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Why do a FLU-FIT or FLU-FOBT Program?

Here are 5 good reasons to try it!

1. Annual colorectal cancer screening tests are underused:

Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Most of these deaths could be prevented with routine screening. The least invasive, least expensive form of screening involves an 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 can be similarly effective to programs that emphasize more invasive tests, such as colonoscopy.

2. Annual flu shot activities are an opportunity to reach many people who need colorectal cancer screening:

Each fall, millions of Americans get flu shots. Annual flu shot campaigns are an opportunity to reach people who are also due for colorectal screening.

3. FIT and FOBT kits can be given to patients by flu shot clinic staff:

Many flu shot campaigns are run by nurses, pharmacists, or medical assistants. A prepared healthcare team can develop simple systems to provide a home FIT or FOBT kit to all eligible patients.

4. FLU-FIT and FLU-FOBT Programs increase colorectal cancer screening rates:

FLU-FIT and FLU-FOBT Programs have been implemented successfully in a variety of clinical settings. They can be implemented and sustained with limited resources, are well accepted by patients, and lead to higher screening rates.

5. FLU-FIT and FLU-FOBT Programs can be a first step toward other innovative preventive health and screening interventions.

Success with FLU-FIT and FLU-FOBT Programs can lead to other practice innovations. For example, once you are successful with a FLU-FIT or FLU-FOBT Program, you may decide to add other services to your flu shot activities, such as mammogram or smoking cessation referrals.