Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Both men and women can get colorectal cancer, so it’s important that everyone is screened. Early detection saves lives! The next one could be yours or someone you love!

When Should I Get Screened?

Talk to your doctor to figure out if you are at average risk for colorectal cancer or increased risk. Then work with your doctor to create a plan for screening.

The American Cancer Society has these recommendations for colorectal cancer screening.1

For People at Average Risk of Colorectal Cancer

  • Ages 45-75—Start regular screening. Keep getting regular screenings until you are 75 if you are in good health and expect to live more 10 years.
  • Ages 76-85—Talk to your doctor to decide if you should keep getting screened. You can make this decision based on your health, what earlier colorectal screening has found and what you want to do.
  • People over age 85—Do not continue colorectal cancer screening.

For People at Increased Risk of Colorectal Cancer

  • You may need to start colorectal cancer screening before you turn age 45, and you may need to get screened more often. Talk with your doctor to figure out what’s best for you.

Am I at Increased Risk?

You are considered at increased risk of colorectal cancer if:

  • Other people in your family, who are related to you, have had colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps (abnormal growths in your colon).
  • You have had colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps.
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease).
  • You have a genetic link to colorectal cancer such as Lynch syndrome, FAP, etc.
  • You have had radiation to your abdomen (belly) or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer.


1. American Cancer Society website. Accessed July 23, 2019.