Colorectal Cancer Screening - ITCMI

Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. Institutional
Colorectal Cancer Awareness

SAULT STE. MARIEColon Cancer is the third leading cancer among American Indian men and women in Michigan.  A greater percentage of American Indian men and women with colon cancer are diagnosed at younger ages compared to the general population in Michigan.  Screening rates are also lower among the American Indian population.  This suggests a need for increased education and screening among the American Indian population. 

“The good news is that Colon Cancer is preventable,” states Noel Pingatore, Program Manager for the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, “A screening colonoscopy can actually remove polyps in the intestine before they become cancerous.”  There are also new and easier to use types of stool sampling screening tests that can be completed at home.” Home stool screening tests are called Fecal Occult Blood Tests or FOBT.  They often require diet and medication restrictions and three separate stool samples.  However, the new Fecal Immunochemical Tests, or FIT, has no dietary or medication restrictions and only requires one or two samples.   The FIT is much easier to use than the older FOBT versions. 

The American Cancer Society recommends testing begin at age 50 for those at average risk and earlier for those at increased risk.  Screening tests include:

  • Colonoscopy everyone 10 years
  • FOBT or FIT every year. 

Talk with your health care provider about your risk for colon cancer and which screening tests are best for you.  The best test is the one that gets done. 

For more information on colon cancer visit: or 

The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Inc. is a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation duly organized under a state charter filed April 16, 1968.  The agency represents all twelve federally recognized tribes in Michigan.  The agency is divided into several different divisions, including:  headstart; early headstart; health services; behavioral health; environmental services; child, family, and education services; and administration.  The agency employs approximately 160 employees. 35 of these employees are based in the agency’s central office in Sault Ste. Marie, while member tribes have offices and staff on site.  Visit to learn more about the agency. The Michigan Three Fires Cancer Consortium is funded by the CDC under grant number 1 NU58DP006275-01-00

Media Contact:

Mike Willette
Communications Specialist
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan
906-632-6896 x.110