Colorectal Cancer Screening & Surveillance

Colon Cancer Screening

Your colon is about 5 to 6 feet long and is also called the large intestine. It begins at the cecum and ends with the anus. The last section of the colon is known as the rectum. Cancer located in the rectum is called rectal cancer. Cancer located in the rest of the colon is called colon cancer. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers.

Why should I be concerned about colorectal cancer?

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. Most colon cancers do not cause any symptoms.

Can screening prevent colorectal cancer?

Most colon cancers arise from pre-cancerous growths or polyps that grow in your colon. Removing the polyps early will eliminate the chance that colon cancer will develop from those polyps.

What is the best screening test for colorectal cancer?

A colonoscopy offers the most thorough examination of the entire colon. It is the ONLY screening test that allows the physician to immediately remove polyps.

When should I be screened for colorectal cancer?

The American College of Gastroenterology recommends that all men and women begin screening at 50 years of age. There are exceptions to this guideline. Talk to your doctor if:

  • If you are African American. African Americans should begin screening earlier, at age 45.
  • If you have a family member who has a history of colon cancer or colon polyps. You may need to begin your screening at a younger age.
  • If you have been diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). You may need to begin your screening at a younger age.
  • If you have other cancer or genetic diseases. You may need to begin your screening at a younger age.

How much does this screening test cost?

Most insurance carriers consider a screening colonoscopy as a “preventative” service and will cover the test completely. However, some may consider a colonoscopy as “diagnostic” based upon your personal or family history. Please contact your insurance carrier to determine if you are responsible for any cost-share amounts & how benefits are applied when this test is performed in an office setting. See Insurance & Billing for more information.

Related Blogs:

Colorectal Cancer Prevention: Get Screened

Find out why you should be screened for colorectal cancer, what screening options are available, and how you can schedule yours.