|Other encyclopedia topics:||A-Ag Ah-Ap Aq-Az B-Bk Bl-Bz C-Cg Ch-Co Cp-Cz D-Di Dj-Dz E-Ep Eq-Ez F G H-Hf Hg-Hz I-In Io-Iz J K L-Ln Lo-Lz M-Mf Mg-Mz N O P-Pl Pm-Pz Q R S-Sh Si-Sp Sq-Sz T-Tn To-Tz U V W X Y Z 0-9|
|Contents of this page:|
Alternative Names Return to topScreening for colon cancer
Information Return to top
How do you screen for colon cancer?
Colon cancer screening can detect polyps and early cancers. Such screening can detect changes that can be treated before symptoms develop. Regular screenings may decrease deaths and prevent pain caused by colorectal cancer. Colon cancer screening is as effective as breast cancer screening when it comes to saving lives.
There are three ways to screen for colon cancer:
The American Cancer Society makes the following recommendations:
Beginning at age 50, both men and women should have a screening test. Some recommend that African Americans begin screening at age 45. People with certain digestive diseases (such as ulcerative colitis) or a family history of colon cancer may need earlier and more frequent testing.
Screening options for patients with an average risk for colon cancer:
There is not enough evidence to determine which screening method is best. Colonoscopy is the most thorough method, but it takes longer, requires sedation, is slightly riskier (rarely, the bowel can be perforated), and is much more expensive than a sigmoidoscopy.
Recently there has been interest in several new screening tests for colon cancer, including checking DNA in stool samples and the fecal immunochemical test (FIT). Capsule endoscopy is also being studied but it is not yet recommended by the American Cancer Society for standard screening at this time.
See also: Stool guaiac test
References Return to top
Smith RA, Cokkinides V, Eyre HJ. American Cancer Society guidelines for the early detection of cancer, 2006. CA Cancer J Clin. 2006;56:11-25.
Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. Health Care Guideline: Preventive Services for Adults. 13th ed. October 2007.
Levin B, Lieberman DA, McFarland B, Smith RA, Brooks D, Andrews KS, et al. Screening and surveillance for the early detection of colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps, 2008: a joint guideline from the American Cancer Society, the US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. CA Cancer J Clin. 2008;58:130-160.
Mandel JS. Screening for colorectal cancer. Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2008;37:97-115.Update Date: 3/24/2008 Updated by: Stephen Grund, MD, Ph.D., Chief of Hematology/Oncology and Director of the George Bray Cancer Center at New Britain General Hospital, New Britain, CT. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.