Medical History and Physical Exam for Colorectal Cancer
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat
your condition by being ready to answer the following questions:
- What are your main symptoms? Although
colorectal cancer does not always cause symptoms,
common symptoms include:
- How long have you had the
- Are your symptoms getting worse?
- Do you smoke
or use other types of tobacco?
- What foods do you typically eat? Do
you eat a lot of processed foods and animal fats?
- Have you ever
been told you have cancer, either colorectal or another type?
anyone else in your family ever been diagnosed with colorectal or another type
- Do you have any type of
inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis
or Crohn's disease?
- What drugs do you take? Make a complete list of
all your prescriptions and any over-the-counter drugs, and take the list with
you to your appointment.
During a physical exam, your doctor will:
Why It Is Done
A complete medical history and
physical exam will help your doctor find the cause of your symptoms. It will
also help decide whether you need more tests.
The results of the medical history and physical
exam may mean that a person needs to begin routine testing for colorectal
cancer earlier than age 50 and have it more often. Your doctor may recommend earlier or more
frequent testing if you:
What To Think About
If your medical history and
physical exam lead your doctor to suspect colorectal cancer, you will need more
tests. These tests may include
fecal occult blood testing,
complete blood count.
Complete the medical test information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you prepare for this test.
Primary Medical Reviewer
||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
||Kenneth Bark, MD - Surgery,
Current as of
||August 20, 2013