Colorectal cancer usually develops from precancerous, abnormal growths in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find these abnormal growths so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
For individuals with hereditary non-polyposis colon rectal cancer syndrome, exams are available every two years beginning at age 25 (or five years younger than the earliest age of diagnosis of colorectal cancer, whichever is earlier), and then annually after age 40.
For individuals who have first-degree relative diagnosed with sporadic colon rectal cancer or adenomas before the age of 60 or multiple first-degree relatives with colon rectal cancer or adenomas, exams are available every three to five years beginning 10 years earlier than the youngest affected relative.
Computed Tomographic Colonography (CTC) or (Virtual Colonoscopy) is only covered when an optical colonoscopy is medically contraindicated or can't be completed due to a known colonic lesion, structural abnormality, or other technical difficulty is encountered that prevents adequate visualization of the entire colon. CTC is NOT covered as a colorectal cancer screening for any other indication or reason.
More than 90% of colorectal cancer occurs in people who are 50 years old or older. Other risk factors include:
Signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer include: