Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the U.S. Yet if discovered early, it can be up to 90% curable.
Colorectal cancer screening saves lives. If everyone who is 50 years old or older were screened regularly, as many as 60% of deaths from colon cancer could be avoided.
What age should I start colon cancer screening?
- Men and women who are at average risk for colon cancer are advised to schedule regular colonoscopies beginning at age 50 and at 10-year intervals thereafter.
- African American men and women are at an increased risk and are advised to schedule screening colonoscopies at age 45 and at 10-year intervals thereafter.
- Patients who have a family history of colon cancer, a condition such as inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) or any other risk factor for colon cancer your physician may recommend to begin screening earlier or more often.
Screening for Colon Cancer
Several tests are available to screen for colorectal cancer. Some are used alone; others are used in combination with each other. Talk with your doctor about which test or tests are best for you.
- For someone at average risk, the recommended screening is a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50.
- A Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years can also be used to screen for colon cancer.
Talk to your doctor about scheduling your screening colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are covered by Medicare and most insurance plans.