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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.

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Overview

Note: Separate PDQ summaries on Colorectal Cancer Screening; Colon Cancer Treatment; and Rectal Cancer Treatment are also available. Factors Associated With Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer Excessive alcohol use Based on solid evidence from observational studies, excessive alcohol use is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC).[1,2,3] Magnitude of Effect: A pooled analysis of eight cohort studies estimated an adjusted relative risk (RR) of 1.41 (95% confidence...

Read the Overview article > >

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.

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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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