Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer and is often curable when detected early. Colorectal cancer and precancerous polyps don't always cause symptoms. You may look healthy and feel fine, and not know there may be a problem.
This is why health care providers recommend screenings at the age of 50 (45 for African Americans) to help prevent and detect colorectal cancer.
Screening tests can find precancerous colon polyps so they can be removed before they turn into colorectal cancer.
The benefits and risks of these screening methods vary. Discuss with your doctor 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.
Some people are at increased 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 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.