Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. This year, it is estimated that over 140,000 Americans will be diagnosed with it.

Like most types of cancer, there is a higher chance of treating colorectal cancer if it’s detected early.

Screening for Colorectal Cancer

The purpose of colorectal cancer screening is to find polyps even before they can become cancerous.

Some of the tests used for colorectal cancer screening include colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, computed tomography colonography, fecal occult blood tests, and stool DNA tests.

When To Get Screened

For those with an average risk for colorectal cancer, screening should start at the age of 50. Early detection is key. However, the American Cancer Society has recently recommended earlier screening starting at the age of 45. This is due to the growing incidence of colorectal cancer in the younger population.

If you are in the higher risk group, it’s important to talk to your doctor regarding the frequency and when you should start the screening tests. 

The high-risk group refers to those with:

  • A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps
  • A personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • A personal history of adenomatous polyps
  • A family history of colorectal cancer syndrome

Many cases of colorectal cancer are asymptomatic, which means you may already have it but just unaware of it. Most of its symptoms only become apparent in the late stages. So, it’s crucial to see a specialist to get screened especially if you are at a higher risk of developing it.

Premier Surgical Associates of Knoxville and Cleveland have cancer surgical specialists who are well-experienced in diagnosing and treating colorectal and other types of cancer. To request an appointment with a physician at one of our offices, please visit