Tests look for cancer in the colon or rectum by checking for blood there or for tissue growths called polyps. If you don't have a high risk for cancer, start to get these tests when you turn 50. Some experts suggest that African American adults should start testing at age 45.
Fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) should happen yearly. A sigmoidoscopy, where your doctor checks part of your colon, should happen every 5 years. You should have a colonoscopy, where the doctor looks at your entire colon, every 10 years.