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Screening for Colorectal Cancer


Getting a lifesaving colorectal cancer screening is simple. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends colorectal cancer screening for men and women aged 50–75 using high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing (FOBT), FIT-DNA, CT colonography, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy.

FIT Test

Your screening process may start with a FIT (fecal immunochemical test). This is a simple at-home test that requires no special preparation. You will return the test to your doctor or lab. Test results help doctors determine whether or not a colonoscopy is appropriate.


Your healthcare provider will order the test which will be sent directly to your home. This is a simple at-home test that requires no special preparation. You will mail the test kit directly to the lab. Your healthcare provider will contact you with the results.

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

The doctor uses a short, thin, flexible, lighted tube that is inserted into your rectum. The doctor checks for polyps or cancer inside the rectum and lower third of the colon.  The Sigmoidoscopy is recommended every 5 years or every 3 years with FIT.


The need for a colonoscopy will be indicated by the results of your FIT test or the recommendation of your doctor. Preparation and testing takes just 24 hours. It's easy and virtually painless. And it could save your life.

  • The day before your procedure, you can have a normal breakfast, and clear liquids instead of supper. You will also do the prep work to wash out your colon.
  • Most patients drink a laxative solution. Yes, nature will take its course, and you will lose a little sleep.
  • During your colonoscopy, an experienced physician will use a thin, long, lighted, flexible tube to view the lining of your colon. Abnormalities and polyps can be identified or removed. The procedure allows for accurate diagnosis and treatment of colorectal problems without the need for a major operation.
  • The procedure lasts from 30 minutes to an hour. The test itself is easy and virtually painless.
  • You will stay in a recovery room for observation until you are ready for discharge. You will need a volunteer to drive you home.
  • Colonoscopy is usually recommended every 10 years.


Important cancer screening information for men and women

The following three links provide cancer screening guidelines for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer.  Talk to your healthcare provider about which screenings are right for you.