You are here

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer

When it comes to colon cancer screening, you have a choice.

As we age, our risk of getting colon cancer goes up. Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum. A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. Over time, some polyps turn into cancer.

The American Cancer Society and many gastroenterology associations advise starting colon cancer screening to look for the disease at age 45. There are several screening tests that have proven valuable when looking for colon cancer. The two most common options in Nevada are FIT/FOBT tests or colonoscopy.

FIT/FOBT is a low-cost test you can do at home and mail to a lab that detects blood in feces. If your result is not normal you will need a follow-up colonoscopy.

A colonoscopy exam uses a flexible lighted tube inserted into your rectum and colon to check for polyps and cancer. You will need to use laxatives to prepare for the exam and will have IV sedation during the exam. Colonoscopy can find cancer earlier, when it’s easier to treat and cure. And during the test your doctor may find and remove polyps before they become cancer.

When it comes to colon cancer screening, the best test is the one that gets done.

Screening Guideline
Up to age 45 Age 45+
Talk to your health care provider about your family history of colon cancer or other risk factors to decide whether you should begin screening early. At 45 begin colon cancer screening. Get a colonoscopy every 10 years or FIT/FOBT test every year. Talk to your health care provider about screening after age 75.
Do I have genetic risk?

Those with a family history of colon cancer, especially close relatives who had colon cancer at a young age, may be at higher risk for the disease. Those at higher risk should talk with their health care provider about whether they should receive genetic counseling for genetic conditions such as Lynch syndrome, which causes about 3 percent of colon cancer cases. Genetic counselors can help by providing information, resources, and support to help patients and their families make informed decisions about genetic testing. Learn more about Lynch syndrome here.

Colorectal Cancer Decision Aid English | Spanish
Colorectal Cancer Basic Information English | Spanish
Colorectal Cancer Risks & Symptoms Download
Colorectal Cancer Screenings At-A-Glance Download


Click here for colon cancer resources


March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

LEARN: Preparing for Your Colonoscopy with Dr. James Nachiondo

LEARN: Colon Screening - FIT Kits Explained

SPANISH: Colon Screening - FIT Kits Explained

LEARN: Screening Recommendations

How to use a FIT kit

How to use a FIT kit

How to successfully use a FIT (fecal immunochemical test) kit instructional to screen for colorectal cancer.

LEARN: FIT Test Available at Southern Nevada Health Centers

Learn more from our partners