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COVID-19

Important Screening Information

Cancer didn’t stop because COVID-19 started. Colorectal cancer screening can save your life. You have options for how to get screened, including at-home tests. And all screening options are safe.

Now is the time to get screened. To find out which screening option is best for you, visit quiz.getscreened.org. Take control of YOUR health—know your own risk and get checked now.

If you are currently experiencing symptoms, such as rectal bleeding, abdominal discomfort, or a change in bowel habits, contact your primary care physician or gastroenterologist (GI doctor) today.

For any additional questions, please contact our Helpline at 877-422-2030.

Screening saves lives


Screening (testing for colorectal cancer) is the No. 1 way you can prevent colon cancer and rectal cancer. 

With screening, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are also highly treatable if caught early. That’s why on-time screening is essential and lifesaving! Screening should begin at age 45. 

Below learn:

  • When you should be screened
  • Risk factors, including genetics and family history 
  • Screening methods
  • Common symptoms

When it comes to screening, tomorrow can’t wait

147,950

Estimated colorectal cancer cases in 2020.

1 in 24

Average lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer.

1 In 3

Eligible adults is not getting screened.

When you should be screened 

All men and women without a family history of colorectal cancer should begin colorectal cancer screenings at age 45, according to the American Cancer Society. 

If you have certain risk factors, you may need to be screened earlier than 45. Speak with your trusted healthcare professional about developing a screening plan for you. They can recommend how and when you should be screened.

Is this you? Here's what to do. 

Video: Get screened for colorectal cancer

Valerie Lee, M.D., is a medical oncologist with the Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Sibley Memorial Hospital. Learn when and why you should get screened for colorectal cancer.

Screening methods


Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
 

Live a healthy colon lifestyle


Beyond screening, there are many things you can do to live a healthy colon lifestyle. Know your risk factors [download resource] and family history [download resource]. Most importantly, listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right or changes, take control and speak to your doctor.

Tips for a healthy colon:

  • Eat fiber (fruits and vegetables)
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take in whole grains
  • Drink low-fat or fat-free milk
  • Eat lean proteins (chicken, turkey) instead of processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meat)
  • Reduce excess sugar and fried foods
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke
  • Exercise regularly
  • Monitor bathroom habits for any changes

Genetics and family history


The majority of colorectal 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 colorectal cancer that could suggest a genetic and/or hereditary factor.

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

Take our colorectal cancer risk quiz to see if genetic testing might be right for you if colorectal cancer runs in your family.

You can also fill out our “Family Health History Tree” to see if close relatives have had cancer.  If multiple family members have had cancer, you may be at higher risk for colorectal cancer. 

Resources


LIVE A HEALTHY COLON LIFESTYLE

These tips can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer and promote a healthy colon. 

Download

KNOW YOUR RISK

Some colorectal cancer risk factors we can control, and some we can't. Learn more with this resource. 

Download

TRACK YOUR SYMPTOMS

Use this resource to track your symptoms and share them with your doctor.

Download

Family Health History Tree

We highly recommend learning about your family’s health history. It could save a loved one’s life or yours.

Download English Download Spanish

Need help?

Our team of certified patient and family navigators is here to assist you.

GetScreened.org supported by: 

Michelle Benaim Fund

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