About 1 in 3 eligible adults who should get tested for colorectal cancer have never been screened. Colorectal cancer is very curable when detected early so it’s important to know the facts about colorectal cancer screening and get screened according to the recommended guidelines.
How Colorectal Cancer Screenings Find Cancer
Colorectal cancer almost always develops from precancerous polyps, abnormal growths that form in the colon or rectum. Colorectal cancer screenings find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment works best.
When Should I Begin to Get Screened?
You should begin screening for colorectal cancer soon after turning 45, then continue getting screened at regular intervals. Depending on your medical history and family history with colorectal cancer, your physician may suggest you get tested earlier than 45. Screenings include:
Fecal occult blood tests (also known as take-home kits)
Double-contrast barium enemas
Insurance and Medicare Coverage
Most insurance plans and Medicare help pay for colorectal cancer screening for people who are 45 years old or older.