Persons under age 40 with symptoms such as red blood in the stool:
- If you have a family history of colorectal cancer, colonoscopy is recommended.
- If you do not have a family history of colorectal cancer, flexible sigmoidoscopy or other visual imaging of the colon is recommended.
- If you have not had a colonoscopy within the past two years, colonoscopy is recommended.
- If you have had a negative colonoscopy within the past two years, flexible sigmoidoscopy is recommended.
Average risk: Age 50 or older without any of the risk factors noted below
- Colonoscopy every 10 years.
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.
- Fecal occult blood test with 3 samples from separate stools every year.
- Virtual colonoscopy.
- Fecal deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) test.
Moderate risk: Personal history of colorectal cancer Colonoscopy: Consult your doctor for frequency guidelines based on your personal health risks.
High risk: People with certain genetic and disease characteristics fall in this category. Consult your doctor about your specific risk factors. Colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy beginning in adolescence or early adulthood, depending on your personal and family health history.