Colon Cancer Awareness

Screening

Beginning at age 50, both men and women should follow one of these testing schedules. Talk to your doctor about which test is best for you.

Tests that find polyps and cancer

  • colonoscopy every 10 years, or
  • flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years*, or
  • double contrast barium enema every 5 years*, or
  • CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years*

Tests that mainly find cancer

  • fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year**, or
  • fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year**, or
  • stool DNA test (sDNA), interval uncertain**

* If this test is positive, a colonoscopy should be done.

** The multiple stool take-home test should be used. One test done by the doctor in the office is not adequate for testing. A colonoscopy should be done if the test is positive.

The American Cancer Society recommends that some people be screened using a different schedule because of their personal history or family history. Talk with your doctor about your history and what colorectal cancer screening schedule is best for you.

Source: American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer.

Resources for Screening Information

MedlinePlus: Colonoscopy

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearninghouse(NDDIC)

MedlinePlus: Virtual Colonoscopy

National Cancer Institute

Colorectal Cancer Screening

Large, Multi-Center Trial Demonstrates Comparable Accuracy for Virtual Colonoscopy and Standard Colonoscopy

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