When Should You Start Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

When should Americans get checked for colorectal cancer?

This is an important topic for us because this serious condition leads many patients to pursue ostomy procedures as a solution. As most people know, identifying cancer in its earliest stages offers you the best opportunity to beat it.

Colorectal Screening

Screening for Those at Average Risk

Some folks are more at risk for colorectal cancer than others based on a variety of factors. Everyone 45 years or older falls into the category of average risk.

If this applies to you, then you should receive regular screening through at least age 75. For anybody ages 75 and 85, talk with your doctor to determine how often to continue screening. Patients beyond age 85 should not receive colorectal screening.

Screening for Those with High Risk

What if you fall into a higher-risk category? How do you know if you should pursue colorectal screening before the age of 45?

Consider these guidelines:

  • You have a family history of colorectal cancer (and certain kinds of polyps).
  • You’ve already encountered certain kinds of polyps.
  • You’ve had Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS).
  • Patients who have already undergone radiation treatment for cancers around the abdomen or pelvis.
  • You have a family history of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome.

What Are Colorectal Cancer Tests Like?

What is screening like and how often should it occur?

Colorectal tests fall into two categories: 1) Stool-Based Tests, and 2) Visual Exams.

Stool-based tests involve diagnostic tools like the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT), which should happen every year. Then there’s a Multi-Targeted Stool DNA Test (MT-sDNA), recommended every three years.

Visual exams include receiving a colposcopy every 10 years, CT colonography every five years, and flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years. For more information on visual exams, check out this previous article on what to expect during a colonoscopy.

We hope you found this information helpful, and won’t delay screening, especially if you’re among the most vulnerable for colorectal cancer.

Cymed MicroSkin serves ostomy patients with a premium line of hypoallergenic pouches and ostomy supplies, through our MicroSkin product line. We also dedicate ourselves to patient education for issues like colorectal cancer. You can contact us anytime to learn about our products and services by calling 800-582-0707 or filling out the form below.