When it comes to colorectal cancer, screening is prevention.
Colorectal cancer is no joke. Just get screened.
What’s Your Risk?
From a family that meets the
Screening guidelines vary based on risk level and screening outcomes. In general, the screening interval decreases if anything is found during screening. Some data indicate that African Americans are at an increased risk of colorectal cancer and therefore should start screening at age 45 rather than 50, even if they are considered average-risk. National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend beginning screening in average-risk individuals at age 50.
Colorectal Cancer Screening Options
Talk to your doctor about your colorectal cancer risk, screening recommendations and to determine the best screening test for you.
Colonoscopy: An outpatient procedure performed under sedation after thorough cleansing of the bowel. During the procedure a physician inserts a flexible tube attached to a camera through the rectum to examine the internal lining of the colon and the rectum for polyps or other abnormalities. If polyps are identified, they can be removed during the procedure. Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard in colorectal cancer screening because it allows for examination of the entire colon.
Couble-contrast barium enema: A test during which a physician inserts a chalky substance called barium through the rectum and into the colon and then takes X-rays of the colon and the rectum so that the area can be evaluated for polyps or other abnormalities. The barium helps open the colon so that the X-rays are more detailed and clear.
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT): A newer type of fecal occult blood test that has been shown to be more specific and more sensitive. Unlike traditional FOBT, FIT does not require drug or dietary restrictions on the part of the patient.
Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): A test that checks for hidden blood in the stool. If positive, this test indicates the presence of bleeding polyps and the need for further screening, such as colonoscopy.
Flexible sigmoidoscopy: An outpatient procedure that is performed without anesthesia or pain medication. A physician inserts a thin scope and a tiny camera into the rectum to examine the lower part of the colon. Sigmoidoscopy requires less bowel preparation than colonoscopy and is a fraction of the cost. It examines the lower third of the colon, which is where about half of all polyps and cancers develop.