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Who should be screened for colorectal cancer?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends regular screening for colorectal cancer using high-sensitivity fecal occult blood testing, sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy beginning at age 50 years and continuing until age 75 years. People at higher risk of developing colorectal cancer should begin screening at a younger age, and may need to be tested more frequently. The decision to be screened after age 75 should be made on an individual basis.

For those with increased or high risk of colorectal cancer, screening should begin before age 50 and/or more frequently. People at higher risk include those with a personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps, history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease), strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, or a known family history of a hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome (hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer or familial adenomatous polyposis).

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that all adults should be screened for colorectal cancer beginning at age 50 years and continuing until 75 years of age. If you or someone in your family has had polyps or colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease or a genetic syndrome that increases your risk for colorectal cancer, you may need to be screened starting earlier than age 50.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.