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