Health & News

2 Ways to Get Tested for Colorectal Cancer

Man with Colorectal Cancer Content Image Full Width

If you’re over 50, you’re at risk for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or rectum, which are parts of the large intestine. This cancer is the third most common type of cancer.

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Here are some important things to know about colorectal cancer:

  • Men and women get colorectal cancer.
  • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
  • 90% of new colorectal cancer cases occur in people 50 and older.
  • 60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented by getting screened.

A colorectal screening can help find polyps, or growths, in the colon or rectum that may turn into cancer. Finding and removing polyps can greatly reduce your risk for colorectal cancer.

Here are two common ways to get tested for colorectal cancer:

  1. Use a FIT Kit. You use the FIT kit to collect a tiny sample of stool, then mail it to a lab. If the lab finds blood, your doctor will schedule you for a colonoscopy (see below) to look for polyps or cancer. If the lab doesn’t find blood, you may not need to be screened again for up to 1 year.
  2. Get a Colonoscopy. A doctor uses a tiny camera to view your entire colon and rectum. If the doctor finds a polyp, it can often be removed with the scope. Some polyps may need to be checked by the lab to see if they’re cancer. If your doctor says you are at low risk for cancer, you may not need another colonoscopy for 10 years.

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