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Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

Colorectal Cancer Early Detection

Joan Lunden encourages adults ages 50 and over to talk to their doctor to determine the right screening test for colorectal cancer.

Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cancer killer in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be. Screening can find precancerous polyps—abnormal growths in the colon or rectum—so they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find colorectal cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.

If you are 50 years old or older, get screened now. If you think you may be at increased risk for colorectal cancer, talk to your doctor about when to begin screening. Ask which test is right for you, and how often to get tested.

CDC’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign informs men and women aged 50 years and older about the importance of getting screened for colorectal cancer.

CDC’s Colorectal Cancer Control Program helps states and tribes across the United States increase colorectal cancer screening rates among men and women aged 50 years and older.

Next: Basic Information

Featured Resources

Screen for Life Basic Facts on Screening fact sheet

Our Screen for Life Basic Facts on Screening fact sheet [PDF-396KB] explains in simple terms how screening tests can save your life.

Community Garden

This video discusses who should get screened at what age, how screening helps prevent colorectal cancer, and important information about screening test options.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer: Optimizing Quality

These continuing education courses provide guidance and tools for clinicians on the optimal ways to implement screening for colorectal cancer.

Photo of Doctor Djenaba Joseph in Medscape Expert Commentary video

This Medscape video explains how doctors can increase colorectal cancer screening rates.