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    Colorectal Cancer Health Center

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    Colorectal Cancer - Topic Overview

    Screening tests can find or prevent many cases of colon and rectal cancer. They look for a certain disease or condition before any symptoms appear. Experts recommend routine colon cancer testing for everyone age 50 and older who has a normal risk for colon cancer. Your doctor may recommend getting tested more often or at a younger age if you have a higher risk. Talk to your doctor about when you should be tested.

    The most common screening tests are:

    • Stool tests that check for signs of cancer, such as blood in the stool.
    • Sigmoidoscopy. A doctor uses a lighted scope to see the lower portion of the intestine. This is where most colon cancers grow. Doctors can also remove polyps during this test.
    • Colonoscopy . A doctor puts a long, flexible tube into your rectum and colon. The tube is usually linked to a video monitor similar to a TV screen. With this test, the doctor can see the entire large intestine.
    • Computed tomographic colonography (CTC), also called a virtual colonoscopy. A computer and X-rays make a detailed picture of the colon to help the doctor look for polyps.

    Learning about colorectal cancer:

    Being diagnosed:

    Getting treatment:

    Ongoing concerns:

    Living with colorectal cancer:

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 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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