Colorectal Cancer Screening
What Is Colorectal Cancer Screening?
Cancer screening tests, including those for colorectal cancer, work best when they can help prevent cancer or find it early, when treatment works best.
Screening Saves Lives
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening testsScreening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for colorectal cancer using high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years.
When Should I Begin to Get Screened?
You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 50, then continue getting screened at regular intervals. However, you may need to be tested earlier than 50 or more often than other people if—
- You or a close relative have had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.
- You have inflammatory bowel disease.inflammatory bowel disease.
- You have genetic syndromes such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer.
Speak with your doctor about when you should begin screening and how often you should be tested.
Free or Low-Cost Screening
CDC's Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP)Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) funds 25 states and 4 tribes across the United States. The program supports population-based screening efforts and provides colorectal cancer screening services to low-income men and women aged 50–64 years who are underinsured or uninsured for screening, as well as diagnostic follow-up services.
If you live in one of the CRCCP-funded states,CRCCP-funded states, you may be eligible for free or low-cost colorectal cancer screening. If you are not eligible for the program, or live outside the areas in which the CRCCP operates, please call 1 (800) 4-CANCER, 1 (800) ACS-2345, or your local department of health to learn more about screening options in your community.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control
4770 Buford Hwy NE
Atlanta, GA 30341
TTY: (888) 232-6348
- Contact CDC-INFO