Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for men and women beginning at age 50. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines for colorectal cancer screening include the following tests—
The benefits and risks of these screening methods vary. Discuss with your doctor [PDF-178KB] which test is best for you, and check with your insurance provider to find out which tests are covered by your insurance plan, and how much you will have to pay. Medicare helps pay for colorectal cancer screening.
If you're having a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, you will want to know—
Some people are at increased riskincreased risk because they have inflammatory bowel disease, a personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer, or genetic syndromes like familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (also known as Lynch syndrome). These people may need to start screening earlier than age 50. If you believe you are at increased risk, ask your doctor if you should begin screening earlier than age 50.
These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know what is causing them is to speak with your doctor about them.