CHC Delaware
Integrated Virtual Colonoscopy™: the next generation of Colon Screening. Call 1-866-97-COLON


Who needs Colon Cancer Screening?

See the American Cancer Society 2008 Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines (PDF)

Why is Colon Cancer Important to me?

Colon Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths (2007 estimate: 52,000), and the third leading cause of newly diagnosed cancers (2007 estimate: 154,000) in the US. The American Cancer Society states that as many as 90% of all Colon Cancer cases and deaths are preventable with early detection through timely screening. Tragically, less than 50% of the eligible population in the US gets appropriate testing for Colon Cancer. Therefore, tens of thousands of Americans are dying needlessly from Colon Cancer every year.

Don't let yourself or a loved one become a statistic. Get screened for Colon Cancer now!

Who should be screened for Colon Cancer?

The American Cancer Society recommends that average-risk adults should begin Colon Cancer screening at the age of 50 years and to continue periodically throughout life. Your doctor may recommend Colon Cancer screening for you prior to age 50. One reason for this earlier recommendation is if your doctor determines that you are at higher than average risk for Colon Cancer.

Some of the characteristics of higher risk individuals include:

  1. a personal history of polyps or colon cancer in the past;
  2. a history of colon cancer or polyps in a family member (first degree relative); and
  3. a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease; or
  4. a history or suspicion of certain higher risk hereditary conditions [eg. hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC) or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)].

For example, if told that a first degree relative (parent, sibling) has a history of polyps, your doctor should recommend colon cancer screening earlier (eg. age 40). The intervals for subsequent screening depend on your history and the results of your initial screening.

What are the Options available for Colon Cancer screening?

Current medical guidelines often lag several years behind medical research. As of March 2008, there are four officially recommended methods for Colon Cancer screening according to the American Cancer Society and the major GI societies:

  1. Flexible Sigmoidoscopy (Flex Sig): a scope test looking at the first 24 in. of the colon only
  2. Double-contrast barium enema: (DCBE): An x-ray test looking at a barium-filled colon
  3. Traditional (optical) Colonoscopy (OC): a scope test looking at the entire length (60-70 in.)of the bowel
  4. CT Colonography (Virtual Colonoscopy): a test using special CT scan technology that takes a detailed picture of the inside of the colon.

While all four of these tests are "recommended" by the major medical guidelines, only CT Colonography and Traditional Colonoscopy are highly sensitive for detecting polyps and cancers (approximately 90% sensitive). The other recommended tests are significantly less sensitive (50-60% sensitive--meaning it might miss as many as half of the polyps and cancers that might be present in the colon).

ACS and USMSTF 2008 Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines (PDF)


Copyright © 2011 Colon Health Centers of America, LLC. All rights reserved.