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Screening tests for colorectal cancer look for signs of cancer before you have symptoms. Screening tests for colorectal cancer include:
There is another screening test called the SEPT9 DNA test. It is a blood test that looks for a change in the SEPT9 gene. This gene change can be found in some people who have colorectal cancer. But this test doesn't work well to find polyps before they become cancer. And it has a higher rate of false-positive results than other screening tests. If the test finds a change in the gene, you will need a follow-up colonoscopy.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has the following advice for colorectal cancer testing:footnote 1
The American Cancer Society (ACS), the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology recommend routine testing for people age 50 and older who have a normal risk for colon cancer.footnote 2
Talk with your doctor about which test is best for you.
Experts agree that people with a higher risk, such as those who have a strong family history of colon cancer, may need to be tested sooner. Talk to your doctor about when you should be tested.
Colonoscopy is the recommended screening test for people at high risk. Your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent testing if you:
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CitationsU.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2016). Screening for colorectal cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA, 315(23): 2564-2575. DOI:10.1001/jama.2016.5989. Accessed June 27, 2016.Levin B, et al. (2008). Screening and surveillance for the early detection of colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps, 2008: A joint guideline from the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 58(3): 130-160.Other Works ConsultedLevin B, et al. (2008). Screening and surveillance for the early detection of colorectal cancer and adenomatous polyps, 2008: A joint guideline from the American Cancer Society, the U.S. Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and the American College of Radiology. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 58(3): 130-160.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerArvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
Current as ofDecember 13, 2017
Current as of: December 13, 2017
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas, MD - Gastroenterology
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