Self-Test on Colorectal Cancer

Self-Test on Colorectal Cancer | ASCRS

Self-Test on Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer - cancer of the colon and rectum - is the second leading cancer killer in the United States and all women and men aged 50 and older are at risk. The good news is that colorectal cancer is preventable and, if detected early, curable.

Depending upon your age and family history, you could be at risk for developing this disease. If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, talk to your colorectal surgeon or other healthcare provider about getting screened for colorectal cancer (screening means getting tested for a disease even if you don't have symptoms).

  1. Are you aged 45* or older?
  2. Has a parent, brother, sister or child of yours had colorectal cancer?
  3. Has a parent, brother, sister, or child of yours had colon polyps?
  4. Do you have a chronic inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease?

Screening can prevent colorectal cancer and healthy lifestyle choices can help. Here are some things you can do to lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer:

  1. Get screened regularly beginning at age 45.*
  2. Exercise and maintain a normal body weight.
  3. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits and high-fiber foods.
  4. Avoid foods that are high in fat.
  5. Don't smoke and drink alcohol only in moderation.

*In 2018, secondary to new data on the increased risks of colon cancer in those under 50, the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery changed recommendations to consider starting screening at age 45. 

To learn more about colorectal cancer, view the patient information page. To locate a colorectal surgeon in your area, visit the Find A Surgeon page.