Getting Screened for Colon Cancer
Colorectal tumors often begin as small growths (polyps) on the inside of the large intestine. The best defense against colorectal cancer is regular screening tests that are designed to find polyps early so they can be removed before they become cancerous.
The American Cancer Society recommends all adults begin screening at age 50. Get screened earlier if you are at higher risk.
Screening methods include:
Digital rectal examination. Your doctor uses a gloved finger to check for lumps or masses.
Fecal occult blood test. This test detects blood in the stool.
Sigmoidoscopy. The doctor uses a scope to examine your rectum and colon.
Colonoscopy. The doctor uses a scope to examine your entire colon and rectum.
Virtual colonoscopy. Images of the colon are taken with CT scans.