- Risk increases with age. More than 90% of colorectal cancers occur in people aged 50 and older.
- Precancerous polyps and colorectal cancer don’t always cause symptoms, especially at first. You could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why having a screening test is so important.
If you have symptoms, they may include:
- Blood in or on the stool (bowel movement)
- Stomach pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away
- Unexplained weight loss
These symptoms may be caused by something other than cancer. If you have any of them, see your doctor. Some people are at a higher risk than others for developing colorectal cancer.
There are several screening test options:
- Colonoscopy (every 10 years)
- High-sensitivity fecal occult blood test (FOBT), stool test, or fecal immunochemical test (FIT) (every year).
- Sigmoidoscopy (every 5 years, with FOBT every three years).
Information from Dr. Xavier Llor; Gastroenterologist, Yale New Haven Hospital/Med. Dir., Colorectal Cancer Prevention At Yale Univ. School Of Medicine/Digestive Diseases, Smilow Cancer Center