The purpose of colorectal screening is to detect the precancerous lesions and early-stage colorectal carcinomas (CRCs). Screening is done in people with no previous history of CRCs and those without any symptoms. Individuals who have symptoms should undergo diagnostic testing.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) provides the following guidelines for colorectal cancer screening:
Age 50 – 75
Practitioners are advised to offer or provide screening to all individuals in this age range, for which there is a high level of benefit.
Age 76 – 85
For this age group, healthcare providers should offer to screened based on an individual’s choice, overall health and screening history.
Individuals who have never been screening for colorectal cancer are more likely to benefit from screening.
Screening is more likely to benefit a person: 1) whose health condition allows for treatment if colorectal cancer is detected 2) who does not have comorbidities limiting his life expectancy.
Screening may be done using one of the following tests:
Fecal immunochemical test
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) – fecal DNA test
Computed Tomography (CT) colonography
The frequency, benefits, and risk of each screening test vary. Consult your healthcare provider to determine what’s best for you.