Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in Massachusetts, but it can be prevented.
Screening tests can help your doctor find and remove polyps before they turn into cancer. Polyps are growths that can turn into cancer if they are not removed.
When colon cancer is caught early, it can be cured 90% of the time.
Early on, colon cancer has no symptoms, so you could have colon cancer and not know it. The only way to know for sure is to get screened.
Who needs to be screened?
- Men and women who are 50 or older.
- If you have a personal or family history of polyps or colon cancer, you may need to start getting screened earlier.
- African Americans have a greater risk for colon cancer. If you’re African American, it is especially important to be screened.
What are the options for colon cancer screening?
Doctors recommend two main tests for colon cancer screening. You should talk to your doctor about the best test for you.
- Stool test: A yearly at-home test that looks for hidden blood in the stool. This test is recommended for patients who have an average risk for colon cancer.
- Colonoscopy: A procedure that looks for polyps.