Current recommendations for colon cancer screening vary according to risk category.
For average risk individuals, screening should start at age 45 as outlined below:
Preferred screening method
- Colonoscopy every 10 years
- Fecal Occult Blood Test (FBOT) yearly
- Flexible Sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
- Double Contrast Barium Enema (DCBE) every 5 years
Patients are at a higher than average risk if any of the following apply:
- A first degree relative was diagnosed with colon cancer
- A first degree relative had adenomatous (pre-cancerous) polyps
- Patient has inflammatory bowel disease
In these situations, colon cancer screening should start at 40 years old.
Screening recommendations may change according to personal history, findings during a colonoscopy, and the doctor's discretion.