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Colorectal Cancer Screening Info

Who should be screened for Colorectal Cancer?

At Smilow, we follow slightly modified United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations for Colorectal Cancer Screening (recent update November 2, 2015, pending approval)

  • Men and women, beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years (age 45 for Black Americans)
  • Younger Adults (before age 50) who have a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps

After that, most will not need further screening for 10 years. Patients who are found to have polyps or have a higher risk for colon cancer due to a family history of colon cancer, or inflammatory bowel disease, may need to have more frequent screening exams.

What tests are available through the Smilow Screening and Prevention Program?

  • Colonoscopy. An examination of the inside of the colon using a colonoscope inserted into the rectum. It is performed with sedation, so there is no pain during the procedure. The day prior includes a clear liquid diet, like broth and ginger ale, and laxatives.

    A colonoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. It may also have a tool to remove tissue to be checked under a microscope for signs of disease.

    Frequency: For those with family history of colorectal cancer, it is recommended that they undergo a colonoscopy every 5 years. Once every 10 years for most people.

  • FIT or high-sensitivity gFOBT. Patients who require an alternative to colonoscopy may perform a FIT test once a year. This is a test that can be done at home to check stool (solid waste) for blood that can only be seen with a microscope. It is important to know that a positive FIT test will require that the patient then undergo a colonoscopy to determine if a cancer is present.

    Frequency: Every year.