Couple discussing colon cancer screening while on a walk


Colon cancer: Early screening can save your life


It's normal to feel anxious about getting a colonoscopy. Fortunately, screening for colorectal cancer doesn't have to be inconvenient, scary, embarrassing, painful, or expensive. You have options.

The big takeaway: Finding colorectal cancer early can save your life. Early detection helps your health care team treat it more successfully. The recommended screening age for colonoscopies is between 45 and 75.

About colon cancer screening

A colon cancer screening can help detect cancer when you don’t have symptoms. Colorectal cancer often starts with precancerous growths called polyps inside the colon or rectum.

A colonoscopy is the gold standard method for detecting colorectal cancer, but there are two more options you can do from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

Screening options

Option Is prep required?

A flexible tube with a tiny camera is passed into your rectum and through your entire colon. This exam is done every 10 years.


There is prep required before the exam.

Stool test (iFOBT)
This is a kit you use at home.

  • You will collect a stool sample and mail it to a lab for testing.

  • The test is done every year.

There is no prep.

This is a test you use at home.

  • You collect a stool sample and mail it to a lab for testing.

  • The test is done every three years.

 There is no prep.


Which screening option should you choose?

Talk with your provider to decide which screening option is right for you. They may ask about your risks, family history, talk about each option's benefits and risks, and your preferences. If the test is positive, you will need a colonoscopy.

How to get screened

To learn more about screening options, contact your provider or schedule an appointment today.

A colon cancer screening doesn't have to break the bank. Contact your health insurance provider to learn which screening options are covered under your plan. 


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