Five Things to Know about Colorectal Cancer ScreeningPosted on by
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
Colorectal cancer is the #2 cancer killer of both men and women in the US. Here are five things to know about colorectal cancer screening.
- Colorectal screening is a process and may look different for everyone. Talk to your doctor about a screening schedule based on your risk and initial screening results.
- Colorectal cancer is often preventable. Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps, or abnormal growths, in the colon or rectum. These abnormal growths can be removed without surgery.
- Regular screening for colorectal cancer is recommended starting at age 50. You may need to be screened earlier if you or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, if you have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, or if you have a genetic syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).
- You should still be screened even if you don’t have symptoms or a family history of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms early on, and while a family history can put you at a higher risk, most cancers happen in people without a family history.
- Several test options are available. There are six different screening tests, some that can be done either at home or in a clinic, that can prevent or detect cancer early.