Greater Chattanooga
Colon Cancer Foundation

979 E. 3rd Street
Suite C-300

Chattanooga, TN 37403
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Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines


Symptoms of Colon Cancer
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:

 

  • A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool

  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool

  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain

  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely

  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Unexplained weight loss
     

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they'll likely vary, depending on the cancer's size and location in your large intestine.

 

If you notice any symptoms of colon cancer, such as blood in your stool or a persistent change in bowel habits, make an appointment with your doctor.

Talk to your doctor about when you should begin screening for colon cancer. Guidelines generally recommend colon cancer screenings begin at age 50. Your doctor may recommend more frequent or earlier screening if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of the disease.

 

SOURCE: The Mayo Clinic

Need a screening? Have insurance? Contact your doctor.

Don't have a doctor? Need help? 

Erlanger - 423-778-7000

Memorial - 423-495-7827

Parkridge - 800-242-5662

Don't have insurance?

Project Access - 423-826-0269

 

Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines

 

Regular screening, beginning at age 50, is the key to preventing colorectal cancer.  The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends screening for colorectal cancer using high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years.

 

People at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer should begin screening at a younger age, and may need to be tested more frequently. The decision to be screened after age 75 should be made on an individual basis. If you are older than 75, ask your doctor if you should be screened. For more information, read the current colorectal cancer screening guidelines from the USPSTF.

 

Recommended screening tests and intervals are—

  • High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), which checks for hidden blood in three consecutive stool samples, should be done every year.
     

  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy, where physicians use a flexible, lighted tube (sigmoidoscope) to look at the interior walls of the rectum and part of the colon, should be done every five years with FOBT every three years.
     

  • Colonoscopy, where physicians use a flexible, lighted tube (colonoscope) to look at the interior walls of the rectum and the entire colon, should be done every 10 years. During this procedure, samples of tissue may be collected for closer examination, or polyps may be removed. Colonoscopies can be used as screening tests or as follow-up diagnostic tools when the results of another screening test are positive. Colonoscopy also is used as a diagnostic test when a person has symptoms, and it can be used as a follow-up test when the results of another colorectal cancer screening test are unclear or abnormal

 

SOURCE: CDC.gov