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Colorectal (Colon) Cancer
Age Guidelines


It’s important to read the colorectal (colon) cancer age guidelines that follow and make an appointment with your health professional to have age-appropriate screenings.


Early detection of colon cancer can reduce your risk of developing it by up to 90 percent.

It’s important to follow the age guidelines for colorectal cancer screening because detecting and removing polyps early enough, can be the difference between diagnosing it before it starts, curing it if it’s found, or dying from it. 


Before age 45,

Ask your health professional about starting your colon cancer checks sooner than the following guidelines if you are black or have a family history of colon cancer.  If you have no family history, follow these guidelines:

Beginning at age 45,

  • Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT)done each year. This test can detect blood in your stool (even if you can’t see it), that may be a symptom of colon cancer. Your health professional may ask you to do this test at home.
  • Flexible Sigmoidoscopy should be done every 5 years.
  • Colonoscopy should be done every 10 years.

You may also want to discuss two new screening tests with your health professional:

  • Virtual colonoscopy.
  • Cologuard. An at-home test.

Resources: Dana-Farber and Cancer.gov 

Learn More About Colorectal (Colon) Cancer Signs And Symptoms