Screening for colorectal cancer should be done as follows:
- If you are 50, undergo an endoscopic procedure, preferably a screening colonoscopy.
- If you have personal risk factors such as colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps detected in a first-degree relative before age 60, begin screening sooner (typically at age 40).
- Continue getting a colonoscopy every 10 years; or a flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema or virtual colonoscopy every five years; and a fecal occult blood test every year.
- If you have had a polyp detected and removed, get screening colonoscopy more frequently as recommended by your doctor.
- If you don't have insurance, or your insurance won't cover the costs, locate a free or low-cost screening program in your area via Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC's) Colorectal Cancer Control Program.