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Screening for Colon Cancer

Gastroenterologist and nutritionist Moshe Shike

Our experts can usually cure colon cancer if they find it early enough. But the more colon cancer grows, the more difficult it can be to treat. In average-risk people with no symptoms, our doctors recommend regular screening tests for colon cancer starting at age 50.

Because more people are getting screened for colon cancer, we’re detecting the disease earlier and more often. As many as 90 percent of patients live five years or more after treatment if the cancer is found and removed at an early stage.

If you have a hereditary colon cancer syndrome, two factors determine our recommendation for how often you have screening tests: the particular condition you have and the number and makeup of your polyps. Your treatment team can explain the benefits and risks of managing the disease with colonoscopies. They can also discuss medications that may help shrink existing polyps or prevent new ones.

Our screening guidelines for colon cancer consider factors specific to you, including your age, family medical history, and genetics.

Learn more about colonoscopies and other screening tests for colon cancer