Screening Tests

Screening tests can find colorectal cancer early when treatment works best. Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Certain screening tests can find precancerous polyps so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Regular screening, beginning at age 45, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. There are both invasive and non-invasive colon cancer screening tests.

Expert Recommendations

The world's leading experts state that the best colorectal screening test is one that an asymptomatic patient at average risk of colorectal cancer is willing to complete, as both invasive and non-invasive tests save lives by reducing cancer deaths. Colorectal cancer screening in adults aged 45 to 49 reportedly has a moderate net benefit; in adults aged 50 to 75 a substantial net benefit; and in adults age 76 to 85 a small net benefit. After age 85, screening should be discontinued. Patients should consult with their doctors to gauge their risk of cancer and to select a test.

Sourced from CDC, USPSTF and other authorities


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