Oncology and Cancer Care at St. Luke's Health

Colorectal Cancer Screening & Diagnosis

Experts recommend people at an average risk for colorectal cancer begin routine screenings at age 50. People with higher risk factors may need to begin screenings earlier and have them done more frequently. Some tests for colorectal cancer include:

  • Colonoscopy – examines the interior walls of the rectum and colon
  • Double-contrast barium enema – highlights the inner part of the colon and rectum in an X-ray
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy - examines the interior walls of the rectum and part of the colon
  • Computed tomography (CT) colonography, or virtual colonoscopy – shows a 3D view of the colon and rectum  
  • Fecal blood tests

If abnormal results are found during screening, your doctor may perform the following to diagnose colorectal cancer:

  • Blood tests
  • Endoscopic procedures
  • Biopsy
  • Imaging:
    • Ultrasounds
    • X-rays
    • Computed tomography (CT) scans
    • MRI

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