Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer, also called colon cancer, is one of the most common cancers diagnosed in both men and women. The chronic disease occurs when there’s an uncontrollable growth of cells starting in the colon (large intestine) or the rectum.

Between birth and death, 1 in 23 men and 1 in 25 women develop colorectal cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.

If caught in time, colorectal cancer is one of the most curable cancers.

Get Screened

The recommended screening age for colorectal cancer is now starts at age 45 rather than 50, according the American Cancer Society.

Screening Options

Screening for colorectal cancer could save your life as it can find polyps that may become cancerous, and it can catch other early stages of cancer. If your screening comes back showing evidence of polyps or cancer cells, the sooner you can get treatment, the better. Follow-up tests and visits may be necessary.

If you are not at an elevated risk of getting colon cancer, these are the recommended screening options. If you are at risk, you should talk to your doctor about a modified screening plan.

Take-Home Stool Tests

Every 1-3 years

Between the three major stool tests, you can detect blood and/or altered DNA in your stools. Collect the sample in your home and send it back to the lab for testing.

The three types are the guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and FIT-DNA test.


Every 10 years

During a colonoscopy, a doctor will examine the inside of your colon for polyps and cancer by inserting a long, lighted tube inside the rectum.

Another option is the flexible sigmoidoscopy, which only checks the lower third of the colon. (Every 5-10 years with yearly fecal immunochemical tests at home)