colon cancer

Fast Facts about colon cancer and screening

1. American Cancer Society. Colorectal cancer risk factors. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-risk-factors. Last revised January 30, 2016. Accessed August 4, 2016.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vital signs: colorectal cancer tests save lives. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/colorectalcancerscreening. Updated November 7, 2013. Accessed February 9, 2016.
3. American Cancer Society. Signs and symptoms of colon cancer. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/signs-and-symptoms-of-colon-cancer. Published February 29, 2016. Accessed August 4, 2016.
4. American Cancer Society. Key statistics for colorectal cancer. American Cancer Society website. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-key-statistics. Last revised January 20, 2016. Accessed August 4, 2016.
5. Myths and facts about colorectal cancer. Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement website. https://www.icsi.org/_asset/m9wv5c/Myths-and-Facts-Colon-Cancer.pdf. Accessed January 26, 2016.

Screening options

According to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)* and the American Cancer Society (ACS), screening options include:

colonoscopy icon


  • Prep required
  • Hospital/outpatient clinic
  • Sedated patient
  • Tube inserted in rectum and advanced through large intestine
stool dna test icon

Stool DNA

  • No prep required
  • At-home test
  • No diet or medication restrictions
  • Uses stool DNA to detect abnormal cells and blood hidden in stool
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Fecal occult blood test

  • No prep required
  • At-home test
  • May require diet restrictions
  • Tests for blood hidden in stool

*Additional screening options include a fecal immunochemical test (FIT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, and CT colonography.

cologuard waving

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