Colorectal cancer screening has saved many lives, as treatment is more likely to be effective if the disease is found early. There is a wide range of screening options available to help find cancer before you experience symptoms. Certain tests also detect polyps which may later develop to cancer. Finding and removing “pre-cancerous” polyps may prevent colorectal cancer. The chart below lists several common tests, with the suggested frequency. If you are 50 years old or above, it is time for you to consider a screening for colorectal cancer now.

Test Frequency Detects
Digital Rectal Exam Yearly Both polyps and cancer
Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) Yearly Mainly cancer
Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) Yearly Mainly cancer
Colonoscopy Every 10 years Both polyps and cancer
CT Colonography Every 5 years Both polyps and cancer
Sigmoidoscopy Every 5 years Both polyps and cancer
Double-Contrast Barium Enema (DCBE) Every 5 years Both polyps and cancer