Five Things to Know about Colorectal Cancer Screening

Posted on by DCPC

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control Stop wondering and start learning about colorectal cancer. Graphic of woman standing outside in a garden.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

More Information

Vital Signs: Screening for Colorectal Cancer
Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal Cancer Blogs

Posted on by DCPC

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Page last reviewed: Friday, September 11, 2020
Page last updated: Friday, September 11, 2020