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    Colorectal Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Patient Information [NCI] - What is screening?

    Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread.

    Scientists are trying to better understand which people are more likely to get certain types of cancer. They also study the things we do and the things around us to see if they cause cancer. This information helps doctors recommend who should be screened for cancer, which screening tests should be used, and how often the tests should be done.

    Recommended Related to Colorectal Cancer

    Advanced Colorectal Cancer: What to Expect

    Colorectal cancer is a tumor that starts in your colon or rectum, the end of your large intestine. When it spreads to other parts of your body -- most often to your liver, lungs, or bones -- doctors use the word advanced to describe it. Your doctor may also call it metastatic or stage IV disease. Although it’s outside your colon or rectum, it's still colorectal cancer, and doctors treat it with drugs for that disease. There’s no cure for this advanced type, but treatments can help you feel better...

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    It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms. Screening tests may be repeated on a regular basis.

    If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer. These are called diagnostic tests.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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