Do I need a screening?
Start screening for colon cancer by the time you turn 50. You may need screenings earlier if you have:
- Family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (lumps in the large intestine)
- Inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
Ask your doctor how often you need colon cancer screenings. Genetic testing and counseling can help your doctor make personalized recommendations if you have a family history of cancer.
Types of colorectal cancer screenings
Choose ProHealth for any of these colorectal cancer screenings:
- Noninvasive stool tests – Assess your stool for blood or genetic markers of cancer
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT)
- Fecal immunochemical test (FIT)
- Stool DNA test (sDNA)
- Colonoscopy – Shows the inside of your entire large intestine.
- Computed tomographic colonography (virtual colonoscopy) – Uses a computer and X-rays to make detailed pictures of the colon.
- Sigmoidoscopy – Looks at the lower part of the large intestine.
Your doctor can recommend the best test for you.
Colonoscopy: what to expect
The day before a colonoscopy, take your prescribed laxatives to clear your large intestine. That way, your doctor will be able to clearly see inside the colon and you’ll get accurate test results.
When you arrive for your appointment, you’ll receive medicine to make you sleepy and relaxed. Then, a doctor slides a thin tube with a tiny camera into your entire large intestine. If the camera shows polyps, or lumps, your doctor will remove them and check them for cancer. You’ll get a report or call later telling you whether any removed polyps were cancerous or precancerous (meaning they could turn into cancer).
Symptoms of colon cancer
Screenings check for cancer before you experience symptoms such as:
- Blood in your stool or very dark stools
- Change in your bowel habits
- Pain in your lower belly
Colorectal cancer care
If you’re diagnosed with cancer, entrust your care to the interdisciplinary colorectal clinic at ProHealth. You’ll benefit from a well-rounded team of specialists devoted to your treatment. And you can see each of them at the same location, [insert facility name with link to relevant location profile], on the same day for your convenience.
Learn about all ProHealth’s expert care for colorectal cancer.