SCREENING RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THOSE AT AVERAGE RISK:
Beginning at age 50, both men and women at average risk for developing CRC should have a colonoscopy every 10 years. The risk of developing Colorectal cancer (CRC) increases with age, with more than 90 percent of cases occurring in persons aged 50 or older. Men and women should begin screening earlier
and more often if they have any of the following CRC risk factors: a family history of CRC or polyps, a known family history of inherited CRC syndromes, a personal history of CRC, or a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's Disease).
Colorectal cancer, often referred to as colon cancer, develops in the colon (known as the large bowel or large intestine) or the rectum. The colon and rectum are parts of the digestive system, which is also called the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The digestive system processes food for energy and eliminates solid waste.
CRC usually develops slowly over many years. Most colorectal cancers begin as a noncancerous (benign) adenoma or polyp (abnormal growth) that develops on the lining of the colon or rectum. Polyps can be removed to significantly reduce cancer risk. Colonoscopy plays an important role in colorectal cancer
prevention because precancerous polyps can be detected and removed during the same exam when they are discovered.
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States (when men and women are combined). It is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths when men and women are considered separately (behind lung and prostate cancer in men, and behind lung and breast cancer in women).
People with risk factors for CRC or family history of CRC should talk with a gastroenterologist about screening at an earlier age
and find out how often they need to be screened.
There are several screening methods which have different abilities to detect or prevent CRC: stool blood test known as Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) or Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, CT colonography, barium enema with air contrast, and stool DNA testing. Tests which mainly detect cancer include FOBT, FIT, and stool DNA. Tests which mainly detect polyps or cancer include colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography, barium enema, and colon capsule endoscopy.
Colonoscopy is considered the gold standard of colorectal cancer screening methods for its ability to view It is the only test that is the entire colon and both detect and remove polyps during the same procedure.suitable for individuals who have risk factors such as family history of CRC.