Have you been screened for colorectal cancer?

Yes? Congratulations!

No? Well now is the time to talk to your doctor about screening. People with average risk should begin screening for the disease at 50. African Americans and other ethnic minorities should begin screening earlier. If your family has a history of colon cancer or polyps talk to your doctor about when screening will be appropriate for you.

Here’s a list of questions to ask your doctor.

  1. I just turned 45. Should I be screened for colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer?
  2. I don’t have any family history of colorectal cancer or of colorectal polyps. Should I still be tested?
  3. My medical history and/or family history puts me at an increased risk for colorectal cancer. Should I be screened earlier? or more often?
  4. I understand there are a number of screening tests available. Would you tell me about each of these tests and the risks and benefits associated with each of them? 
  5. I don’t know which screening test is appropriate for me. Which test do you recommend and why?
  6. Will you perform the test? If not, who will?
  7. How should I prepare for the test? Should I change my diet or medications?
  8. Will I be awake or asleep during the test?
  9. What will happen during the test?
  10. Will the test hurt?
  11. Should I have someone with me on the day of the test?
  12. When and how will I learn the results of the test?
  13. What kind of follow-up care will I need if the tests show a problem?
  14. If the tests show nothing wrong, when should I be tested again?
  15. What is the cost of these tests? Will my insurance cover the cost?
Download these questions.

Information on these pages is provided for informational purposes only. Consult your physician before making any medical decisions.