Colorectal Cancer Screening

We offer advanced screening options for colorectal cancer to detect the condition in its earliest stages.

Colon cancer is among the most common cancers in the United States, affecting more than 130,000 people each year. Rectal Cancer is a relatively common disease in the United States, affecting about 40,000 people each year. Anal cancer is less common, but can be aggressive. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable when it is detected early.

Our colorectal cancer specialists can pinpoint the precise location and stage of the cancer. We offer the most advanced diagnostic tools and screening tests to help us find and treat tumors.

Schedule your colorectal screening today. Call us at (877) 672-7336.
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Get Screened

Colorectal cancer screening is the best means to catch pre-cancerous polyps and diagnose colon cancer at its earliest stage, when it’s treatable and curable.

Colonoscopy Questions Answered

Everything you need to know about this life-saving procedure. 

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gastroenterologist talking to patient
At-Home Alternatives to Colonoscopy

Learn more about the screening options for colorectal cancer and decide if an at-home test is right for you.

Colorectal cancer screening recommendations

A 2017 study led by American Cancer Society (ACS) researchers revealed that new cases of colon cancer and rectal cancer are occurring at an increasing rate among young and middle-aged adults throughout the United States. That is part of the reason why the ACS and our cancer experts now recommend that for those with an average risk (no family history of colon cancer or other risk factors) colon and rectal screenings should take place at age 45, rather than the previous recommendation of 50. Patients with a first-degree relative, meaning a person's parent or sibling, diagnosed with colorectal cancer should start at age 40, or at 10 years younger than the age the relative was diagnosed.

Our colorectal cancer expert explains who should consider screening and when providing clarity for those considering screening.

Colorectal cancer screening options

Your doctor may detect cancer during a routine examination or during a colonoscopy or other screening exam. Sometimes, screening methods other than colonoscopies are a good option for a patient. We are sensitive to individual preferences and offer the full range of colorectal cancer screening tests. A doctor may order one or more of the following:

  • Colonoscopy: a physician inserts a colonoscope (flexible tube with a camera and source of light) to evaluate the inside of the colon. The vast majority of colonoscopies are performed as part of screening for colon cancer. Physicians may order these exams as follow-up if we find the suspected cancer through a blood test or other screening tests. These give the doctor a clear view of your colon.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: similar to a colonoscopy, the doctor is using a sigmoidoscope (flexible tube with camera and light) to evaluate the colon and the rectum. The physician is able to see the entire rectum but less than half the colon with this exam.
  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT): A lab test that checks stool for early colon and rectal cancer.
  • Digital rectal exam (DRE): Your doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger to feel for cancer on the rectal wall.
  • Endoscopy: A physician inserts an endoscope (a flexible tube with a camera) into the mouth to the rectum and colon, to view and remove any abnormalities on the colon’s inner lining.
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test: This blood test measures the level of CEA. A higher than normal amount can be a sign of colorectal cancer.
  • Rigid sigmoidoscopy: A doctor uses a stiff optical scope to measure a tumor’s distance from the anus. 
  • FIT (fecal immunochemical test) kit: This take home kit tests for hidden blood in the stool, which can be an early sign of cancer. If blood is found, then a colonoscopy would be recommended.
  • Cologuard at-home test (Every three to four years for average-risk patients). With this non-invasive, DNA-based colorectal screening test, patients collect their stool in a kit provided by their physician and ship it to the lab to be tested.

Colonoscopy or colon screening — what's the difference?

  • Colonoscopy
  • At-home colon screening
  • Preparation required
  • Most sensitive test — considered gold standard — for colon cancer screening
  • Polyps can be removed during the screening exam
  • If polyps found, doctor informs immediately after screening
  • Receive results in three days or less
  • Recommended repeat testing on normal test is every 10 years
  • No preparation required
  • Less sensitive than a colonoscopy at detecting pre-cancerous polyps
  • Not recommended if family history of colon cancer, previous cancer or colon/rectum disease
  • Polyps will not be removed
  • At-home test misses one out of 13 people with cancer that would be detectable by colonoscopy
  • Results do not confirm whether cancer present
  • If cancer is detected, a colonoscopy is needed to confirm results and remove polyps
  • Receive results up to two weeks later
  • Recommended repeat testing every one to three years

Talk to your doctor about your colorectal cancer risk and your screening options. To make an appointment for your colonoscopy or to talk with your doctor about your risk, call (800) 436-7936.

  • What you need to know about polyps

    Polyps are abnormal growths in the colon that may turn into cancer if left untreated. Polyps can:

    • Be large or small. Bigger polyps are more likely to be precancerous, which means they might lead to cancer.
    • Grow directly on the colon, or from a stalk. Polyps with a stalk are less likely to become cancerous.
    • Swell into the colon or rectum.

    When doctors find polyps during colonoscopy, they often remove them immediately. This approach can decrease your risk of colon cancer.

    Physicians may use one of two techniques to remove polyps. They can:

    • Destroy small polyps using an electrical current, called electrosurgery
    •  Use a wire loop to snare and remove larger polyps

    Your doctor will send the polyps to a pathology lab for more testing. It can take about a week to receive the results. If your doctor finds polyps during your colonoscopy, you may need further tests for an accurate diagnosis.

  • Advanced genetic screening and counseling

    Although most people who are diagnosed with colon cancer are older than age 40, some patients are younger. We may recommend genetic counseling for these younger patients and their family members.

    If you may be at risk for an inherited cancer, we’ll work with you and our genetics team to recommend next steps. And, we’ll help you and your family members navigate any additional screening or care you may need.

Schedule a colonoscopy
Call us at (800) 436-7936. 
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