March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Remember the ‘70s?

Then it's time to get screened for colorectal cancer

Look familiar?

You must be over 50.

If these images mean something to you, then not only did you grow up during an amazing time, but it’s also your turn to get screened for colorectal cancer.

 

All average-risk individuals should begin screening at the age of 50. Keep going to see your screening options.

Younger than 50?

If you’re younger than 50, talk to your doctor about your family history to see if you are considered “high risk,” in which case you may start your screening sooner.

Know the Facts

There are more than 49,000 deaths from colorectal cancer each year. That’s enough people to fill New York’s Yankee Stadium.

Many of these deaths could have been prevented through screening and early detection.

Screening Options

Talk to your health-care professional about which screening option is best for you.

  • Colonoscopy

    • A colonoscopy involves looking at the colon from inside the body using a long, thin (about the width of your little finger), flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end, through which the doctor can view your whole colon and rectum for polyps or cancer.

     

    • A colonoscopy can also remove polyps, thus preventing or even curing colorectal cancer if found.

     

    • While this test is done in a hospital or outpatient clinic, you do not need to stay overnight.

     

    • You will be given medicine so you will be asleep for the test.

     

    • There is preparation involved in this test, which includes clearing out your bowels so the doctor can see clearly.

     

    • If your colonoscopy is clean, meaning no polyps are found, you won't need to do another one for 10 years.
  • FIT

    • The FIT test comes in a kit with which you can collect your stool samples at home in a special container and can find hidden, invisible blood.

     

    • Your doctor’s office will instruct you about how to perform the test.

     

    • FIT can find many early cancers, but only the largest precancerous polyps. If the FIT test detects hidden blood in your stool, you will need to discuss further testing with your doctor. Usually a colonoscopy is recommended.

     

    • This test is low cost and pretty easy to do. You do not have to follow a special diet or “prep” for this test.

     

    • A FIT test needs to be done annually (every year) for persons starting at age 50.
  • FOBT

    • The FOBT test comes in a kit with which you can collect the stool samples at home in a special container and then send them to a lab so they can look for hidden, invisible blood in your stool.

     

    • You will need to follow a special diet before doing this test. Your doctor will give you details on the foods you need to avoid.

     

    • This test, which is pretty easy and low cost, is designed to test for early cancers, but it does not find precancerous polyps.

     

    • If the FOBT test is not normal, you will need to discuss further testing with your doctor. Usually a colonoscopy is recommended.

     

    • A FOBT test needs to be done annually (every year) for persons starting at age 50.
  • Stool DNA (Cologuard®)

    • Cologuard is an at-home stool test, somewhat like the FIT or FOBT tests, that is only available by prescription.

     

    • You doctor orders the test straight from the lab, and the kit with the test is mailed from the lab to your home. You will collect your stool in the given container, which conveniently mounts on the toilet.

     

    • Cologuard finds abnormal cell parts, DNA, from colon cancers and polyps and tests for blood in your stool.

     

    • If Cologuard is not normal, you will need to discuss further testing with your doctor. Usually a colonoscopy is recommended.

     

    • A Cologuard test needs to be done every three years for persons starting at age 50.
  • Flexible Sigmoidos

    • This test can be done in a doctor’s office and does not need anesthesia or sedation (medicine that makes you sleepy).

     

    • Sigmoidoscopy is a test during which a doctor uses a short, thin (about the width of your little finger), flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to check the rectum and the lower end of the colon for polyps and cancer. Only the final two feet of the colon’s six feet are examined.

     

    • You will need to take a couple of cleansing enemas before the test to clear out your colon.

     

    • If a polyp or abnormality is found, you may need a colonoscopy.

     

    • This test needs to be done every five years starting at age 50 if annual stool tests for blood are negative.
  • CT Colonography

    • This test can be done in an imaging center, outpatient office or a hospital.

     

    • CT colonography will look at your colon and rectum using a special machine to take pictures. At the start of the test, a small, flexible tube will be put into your rectum to pump air into your colon. A machine is used to combine the pictures, making both 2- and 3-dimensional views that allow a trained doctor to look for polyps and cancer.

     

    • You do not need to be put to sleep for this test.

     

    • You will need to clean out your colon before the test, just like for a colonoscopy.

     

    • If a polyp is found during this test, you will need a colonoscopy.

     

    • CT colonography needs to be done every five years for average-risk people. Patients at higher risk for colorectal cancer, like those with a family history or with polyps or other health problems, should talk to their gastroenterologist about whether a colonoscopy would be a better option.

Know the Facts

1 in 3 adults are not up-to-date on their recommended colorectal cancer screening.

Let’s change the numbers — spread the message that you can prevent colorectal cancer with screening.

Get the Colorectal Cancer Health Guide

In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we are sending out a helpful digital pamphlet on colorectal cancer, which covers testing options, prevention and more. Enter your email below to receive a copy.



Find a GI

If you are ready to get screened, use AGA's GI locator service to find a gastroenterologist in your area. Gastroenterologists are physicians who screen for colorectal cancer.

Spread the Word

Visit AGA’s Facebook page to view throwback photos from your childhood, while also learning about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer. Be sure to share our Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month posts with your friends and family. By reminding your loved ones to get screened, you could be saving a life!

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A program of the AGA Institute

Then it's time to get screened for colorectal cancer

Remember the ‘70s?

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Remember the ‘70s?

Then it's time to get screened for colorectal cancer

Younger than 50?

If you’re younger than 50, talk to your doctor about your family history to see if you are considered “high risk,” in which case you may start your screening sooner.

Find a GI

If you are ready to get screened, use AGA's GI locator service to find a gastroenterologist in your area. Gastroenterologists are physicians who screen for colorectal cancer.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Remember the ‘70s?

Then it's time to get screened for colorectal cancer

Look familiar?

You must be over 50.

If these images mean something to you, then not only did you grow up during an amazing time, but it’s also your turn to get screened for colorectal cancer.

 

All average-risk individuals should begin screening at the age of 50. Keep going to see your screening options.

Know the Facts

There are more than 49,000 deaths from colorectal cancer each year. That’s enough people to fill New York’s Yankee Stadium.

Many of these deaths could have been prevented through screening and early detection.

Screening Options

Talk to your health-care professional about which screening option is best for you.

  • Colonoscopy

    • A colonoscopy involves looking at the colon from inside the body using a long, thin (about the width of your little finger), flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end, through which the doctor can view your whole colon and rectum for polyps or cancer.

     

    • A colonoscopy can also remove polyps, thus preventing or even curing colorectal cancer if found.

     

    • While this test is done in a hospital or outpatient clinic, you do not need to stay overnight.

     

    • You will be given medicine so you will be asleep for the test.

     

    • There is preparation involved in this test, which includes clearing out your bowels so the doctor can see clearly.

     

    • If your colonoscopy is clean, meaning no polyps are found, you won't need to do another one for 10 years.
  • FIT

    • The FIT test comes in a kit with which you can collect your stool samples at home in a special container and can find hidden, invisible blood.

     

    • Your doctor’s office will instruct you about how to perform the test.

     

    • FIT can find many early cancers, but only the largest precancerous polyps. If the FIT test detects hidden blood in your stool, you will need to discuss further testing with your doctor. Usually a colonoscopy is recommended.

     

    • This test is low cost and pretty easy to do. You do not have to follow a special diet or “prep” for this test.

     

    • A FIT test needs to be done annually (every year) for persons starting at age 50.
  • FOBT

    • The FOBT test comes in a kit with which you can collect the stool samples at home in a special container and then send them to a lab so they can look for hidden, invisible blood in your stool.

     

    • You will need to follow a special diet before doing this test. Your doctor will give you details on the foods you need to avoid.

     

    • This test, which is pretty easy and low cost, is designed to test for early cancers, but it does not find precancerous polyps.

     

    • If the FOBT test is not normal, you will need to discuss further testing with your doctor. Usually a colonoscopy is recommended.

     

    • A FOBT test needs to be done annually (every year) for persons starting at age 50.
  • Stool DNA (Cologuard®)

    • Cologuard is an at-home stool test, somewhat like the FIT or FOBT tests, that is only available by prescription.

     

    • You doctor orders the test straight from the lab, and the kit with the test is mailed from the lab to your home. You will collect your stool in the given container, which conveniently mounts on the toilet.

     

    • Cologuard finds abnormal cell parts, DNA, from colon cancers and polyps and tests for blood in your stool.

     

    • If Cologuard is not normal, you will need to discuss further testing with your doctor. Usually a colonoscopy is recommended.

     

    • A Cologuard test needs to be done every three years for persons starting at age 50.
  • Flexible Sigmoidos

    • This test can be done in a doctor’s office and does not need anesthesia or sedation (medicine that makes you sleepy).

     

    • Sigmoidoscopy is a test during which a doctor uses a short, thin (about the width of your little finger), flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end to check the rectum and the lower end of the colon for polyps and cancer. Only the final two feet of the colon’s six feet are examined.

     

    • You will need to take a couple of cleansing enemas before the test to clear out your colon.

     

    • If a polyp or abnormality is found, you may need a colonoscopy.

     

    • This test needs to be done every five years starting at age 50 if annual stool tests for blood are negative.
  • CT Colonography

    • This test can be done in an imaging center, outpatient office or a hospital.

     

    • CT colonography will look at your colon and rectum using a special machine to take pictures. At the start of the test, a small, flexible tube will be put into your rectum to pump air into your colon. A machine is used to combine the pictures, making both 2- and 3-dimensional views that allow a trained doctor to look for polyps and cancer.

     

    • You do not need to be put to sleep for this test.

     

    • You will need to clean out your colon before the test, just like for a colonoscopy.

     

    • If a polyp is found during this test, you will need a colonoscopy.

     

    • CT colonography needs to be done every five years for average-risk people. Patients at higher risk for colorectal cancer, like those with a family history or with polyps or other health problems, should talk to their gastroenterologist about whether a colonoscopy would be a better option.

Let’s change the numbers — spread the message that you can prevent colorectal cancer with screening.

Know the Facts

1 in 3 adults are not up-to-date on their recommended colorectal cancer screening.

Get the Colorectal Cancer Health Guide

In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, we are sending out a helpful digital pamphlet on colorectal cancer, which covers testing options, prevention and more. Enter your email below to receive a copy.



Spread the Word

Visit AGA’s Facebook page to view throwback photos from your childhood, while also learning about the importance of screening for colorectal cancer. Be sure to share our Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month posts with your friends and family. By reminding your loved ones to get screened, you could be saving a life!