This test is similar to a sigmoidoscopy in that the doctor uses a thin, flexible, lighted tube, called a colonoscope, which is inserted into your rectum and entire colon so that your doctor can find and remove polyps and cancer.
More than 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year. Colorectal cancer is easily treatable and cured if detected early.
About Colon Cancer
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can easily detect these growths so that they can be removed before they become cancerous. If performed regularly, screening tests can also detect colorectal cancer in its earliest stages.
When should you begin screening for Colorectal Cancer?
You should get a screening test for colon cancer soon after turning 50 years old, and then continue to have one on a regular basis.
However, you may need to have a screening test earlier if:
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or cancer.
- You have inflammatory bowel disease.
- You experience symptoms like blood in your stool, unexplained and frequent stomach pain, cramps, or aches, or a change in your bowel habits.