Colon cancer is unique in that it is one of the most preventable and, if found early, most treatable forms of cancer. While screening is the most important step you can take to prevent colon cancer, it’s not the only one.

From making changes in your diet to knowing your family’s health history, it’s never too early to start making the small choices that really pay off. Start today by taking our colon cancer risk quiz, learning more about genetics and family history or finding the screening test that’s right for you.

Prevention & Screening

Screening is the number one way you can reduce your risk of colon cancer. Despite its high incidence, colon cancer is unique in that it is one of the most preventable and, if found early, most treatable forms of cancer. And the best part is, screening is easy! From colonoscopy to at-home stool tests, there’s an option for everyone. If you’re over 50, high risk or symptomatic, don’t put it off. Talk to your doctor about getting checked!

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SCREENING METHODS


  • Colonoscopy

    What happens: The inside of the rectum and entire colon are examined using a long, lighted tube called a colonoscope.

  • Stool DNA

    What happens: Instead of looking just for blood in the stool (like FIT or guiac FOBT), these tests look for certain DNA mutations caused from cancerous tumors or precancerous polyps.

  • Virtual Colonoscopy

    What happens: Uses X-rays and computers to take 2- or 3-D images of your colon and rectum.


WHO SHOULD BE SCREENED AND WHEN


  • all men and women

    All men and women should be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 50, if not earlier.

  • family history of colon cancer

    People with personal or family history of colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, or are experiencing symptoms are considered “high risk”.

  • SHOWING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

    If you’re exhibiting signs and symptoms, regardless of age or family history, you should be screened.


GENETICS & FAMILY HISTORY

The majority of colon cancer patients do not have a family history or genetic connection to the disease. This is when the cancer occurs by chance, and is often called “sporadic cancer.”

However, in some families, we see more cancer than we would expect. About one in four patients have a family history of colon cancer that could suggest a genetic and/or hereditary factor.

A family history of colon cancer, that is, an immediate family member (parent, brother, sister) or multiple family members with colon cancer or polyps, puts you at an increased risk for the disease.

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