What’s to Know About Colorectal Cancer Screening?

What is a colorectal cancer screening?

Colorectal cancer usually develops from small clumps that are also known as precancerous polyps. At early stage, people with colorectal cancer may not have any symptoms. For people with no symptoms, a colorectal cancer screening test can find the cancer, so that treatments can start early and work better.

When should I get a colorectal cancer screening?

The risk of colorectal cancer will increase after age 50. According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), adults should start a colorectal cancer screening form age 50 and then get screened regularly. However, if you have following conditions, you need to get a screening test before age 50. These conditions include:

  • You have inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
  • You or your close relatives have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
  • You have had radiation to the abdomen or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer.
  • You have a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome).

What kind of screening tests can I have?

Here are some common screening tests options:

Stool-based tests:

  • Highly sensitive fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year.
  • Highly sensitive guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT) every year.
  • Multi-targeted stool DNA test (MT-sDNA) every 3 years.

Visual examinations:

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG) every 5 years.
  • CT colonography every 5 years.
  • Colonoscopy every 10 years.

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