Your Personalized Screening Recommendation
You are behind on screening.
Your health history puts you at higher risk for colorectal cancer, so a colonoscopy is the best test for you. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are two of the most preventable cancers, and they are highly treatable if caught early. Talk to a health care provider now, and remember, the most common symptom of colorectal cancer is no symptom.
Have questions or want to talk to someone?
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance offers free support, guidance, and encouragement. Connect with our certified patient and family support navigators at (877) 422-2030.
Need help finding an appointment?
The Alliance has partnered with Zocdoc to help you find a specialist. Visit them in their offices, or video chat with them from home. Find an appointment below.
A colonoscopy is the standard screening method for people at higher risk and can be used for average-risk individuals, too. It is a routine and safe procedure. A doctor uses a thin tube with a camera to see inside your colon and rectum while you’re in a sleep-like state. If found, polyps — abnormal tissue growths that may become cancer — can be removed during a colonoscopy, preventing cancer.
A colonoscopy procedure typically takes 30 to 60 minutes, depending on whether the doctor needs to remove polyps or take biopsies. However, patients and caregivers should plan to spend up to three hours total at the hospital or endoscopy center to account for the time needed for preparation and recovery from anesthesia.
About Family Health History
Family health history plays an important role in determining your cancer risk. About 1 in 4 colorectal cancer patients have a family history of colorectal cancer. Family history means any of the following are true:
- At least one immediate family member (parent, brother, sister, child) was diagnosed under the age of 60.
- Multiple second-degree relatives (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) were diagnosed with colorectal cancer or advanced polyps (risk increases if diagnosed before the age of 45).
These genetic factors also increase your lifetime risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer:
- You have a cluster of family members diagnosed with colorectal cancer, referred to as familial colorectal cancer.
- You inherit a harmful DNA mutation from a parent. This impacts approximately 5-7% of all colorectal cancer patients.
If family history increases your risk, your doctor will recommend earlier and more frequent screening. People with a family history of cancer should get screened at age 40 or 10 years before the age at which their immediate family member was diagnosed, whichever is earlier.
Resources for You
Colonoscopy prep guide: If you need a colonoscopy, use this sheet to prepare.
Healthy living: While screening is the most important step to prevent CRC, it’s not the only one.
Symptoms: The most common symptom of colorectal cancer is no symptom, but when present, symptoms may include these.
Facts About Colorectal Cancer
- 1 in 24 will be diagnosed in their lifetime
- More than 1 in 10 are diagnosed under the age of 50
- Screening is the No. 1 way to prevent CRC or detect it early
- CRC caught early has a 91% survival rate