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Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Screening at UPMC in Central Pa.

Routine colorectal cancer screenings are life-saving procedures that can detect colorectal cancer in its earliest stages and, in many cases, prevent it from developing in the first place.

What is colorectal cancer screening?

The best way to screen for colorectal cancer is during a procedure called a colonoscopy, which allows your doctor to see and examine the inside of your colon. A colonoscopy also can help to prevent colorectal cancer because it allows your doctor to remove small growths called colon polyps before they have a chance to turn into cancer.

Although there are other non-colonoscopy screening tests available, they are not as effective as a colonoscopy for detecting and preventing colorectal cancer in its preliminary stages. Your doctor will recommend the colorectal cancer screening that is right for you.

Why should I have a colorectal cancer screening?

Having routine colorectal cancer screenings can help your doctor find colorectal cancer early, before it becomes advanced and spreads to other areas of your body. Finding colorectal cancer in its earliest stages usually means a higher chance of survival.

Removing colon polyps, which can turn into cancer if they are left untreated, can prevent colorectal cancer from developing in the first place.

When should I have a colorectal cancer screening?

Your doctor will let you know when you should begin having routine colorectal cancer screenings. Your doctor’s colorectal cancer screening recommendation will depend on a few factors, including your age and colorectal cancer risk factors.

Most people are recommended to have colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 45, but your doctor may recommend starting earlier if you are at a high risk of developing colorectal cancer.

If you’ve already had your first colorectal cancer screening, your doctor will let you know when you should have your next screening based on your results.

Schedule a Colonscopy.

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