Screening for colon cancer; Colonoscopy - screening; Sigmoidoscopy - screening; Virtual colonoscopy - screening; Fecal immunochemical test; Stool DNA test; sDNA test; Colorectal cancer - screening; Rectal cancer - screening
Colon cancer screening can detect polyps and early cancers in the large intestine. This type of screening can find problems that can be treated before cancer develops or spreads. Regular screenings may reduce the risk of death and complications caused by colorectal cancer.
There are several ways to screen for colon cancer.
SCREENING FOR AVERAGE-RISK PEOPLE
There is not enough evidence to say which screening method is best. But, colonoscopy is most thorough. Talk to your health care provider about which test is right for you.
Both men and women should have a colon cancer screening test starting at age 50. Some providers recommend that African Americans begin screening at age 45.
Screening options for people with an average risk for colon cancer:
SCREENING FOR HIGHER-RISK PEOPLE
People with certain risk factors for colon cancer may need earlier (before age 50) or more frequent testing.
More common risk factors are:
Screening for these groups is more likely to be done using colonoscopy.
Itzkowitz SH, Potack J. Colonic polyps and polyposis syndromes. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology/Diagnosis/Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 126.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). NCCN website. Clinical practice guidelines in oncology (NCCN Guidelines) Colorectal cancer screening. Version 2.2017.
US Preventive Services Task Force, Bibbins-Domingo K, Grossman DC, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer: US Preventive Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2016;315(23):2564-2575. PMID: 27304597
Review Date: 1/22/2018
Reviewed By: Jenifer K. Lehrer, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Aria-Jefferson Health Torresdale, Jefferson Digestive Diseases Network, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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