Screening for Colon Cancer

There is more than one screening option. Talk with your doctor about the best one for you. Screening options include a colonoscopy, a flexible sigmoidoscopy, a double contrast barium enema, a CT colonography, and fecal tests including the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) and a stool DNA test (sDNA).

Debunking the Excuses

“I’m too young.”

Colon cancer is becoming more common in people under the age of 50. Many people need to get screened sooner than 50 based on their family and personal history. You’re never too young for colon cancer.

“My doctor didn’t tell me to get tested.”

Take charge of your health and bring up the topic of colon cancer screening at your next visit. What’s the #1 reported reason people aren’t screened on time? Their doctor didn’t recommend it! Remember – on-time screening can prevent the number of cases of colon cancer!

“I’m scared about the test.”

Talk with your doctor about any concerns, the screening options available, and the pros and cons of each test.

“No one in my family has had colon cancer.”

You do not have to have a family history to get colon cancer. 75% of people diagnosed with colon cancer have no family history.

“I don’t have any symptoms.”

Just because you do not have symptoms does not mean you do not need to be screened. Colon cancer is preventable and treatable.

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • What will my insurance cover?
  • How often should I be screened?
  • Who else in my family should be screened?
  • What is the best screening option for me?
  • Are there other cancers I should be screened for sooner than normal?
  • Can you tell me more about genetic testing and if that’s appropriate for me and my family?

fhtDownload the Family Health Tree

If you have a family history, be sure to share that with your physician. Take as many details with you as possible, including ages. Ask them when you should start screening.

If you are having symptoms, make sure that your doctor knows that colon cancer is striking more and more people your age. Ask for an appropriate screening.

Make sure your physician knows that colon cancer can strike people at any age, and it’s actually on the rise in people under the age of 50.  In fact, 1 in 7 cases occur in those under age 50 and 75% of young onset cases occur in the 40-45 age group and 20% of rectal cancers are in those under 50.

Initial misdiagnosis of colon cancer happens to 15 - 50% of young patients.