Screening and Testing to Detect Colon and Rectal Cancer
Screening methods to find colon or rectal changes that may lead to cancer include laboratory tests such as fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) and imaging tests such as sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Screening by the latter two tests can find precancerous polyps which can be removed during the test and may find cancer early when it is most treatable.
On this page:
Colon and Rectal Cancer Screening Methods
- Colorectal Cancer Screening (PDQ®)
[ patient ] [ health professional ]
Expert-reviewed information summary about tests used to detect or screen for colorectal cancer.
- Tests to Detect Colorectal Cancer and Polyps
A fact sheet that discusses the advantages and disadvantages of several colorectal cancer screening tests.
- Experts Recommend Steps to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening in Primary Care
A National Institutes of Health state-of-the-science panel was convened February 2-4, 2010 to identify ways to increase the use and quality of colorectal cancer screening in the United States.
Find Clinical Trials to Screen for Colon and Rectal Cancer
Check for colorectal cancer screening trials from NCI’s list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients. The list of clinical trials can be refined by location and other features.
Research About Colon and Rectal Cancer Screening
- Sigmoidoscopy Proves to Be Effective Screening Tool for Colorectal Cancer
In a large randomized trial involving healthy men and women aged 55 to 74, sigmoidoscopy substantially reduced the incidence of and mortality from colorectal cancer.
- Colonoscopy Reduces Risk of Death from Colorectal Cancer in High-Risk Patients
Long-term results from the National Polyp Study confirm that removing precancerous adenomas not only reduces the risk of colorectal cancer but also reduces the number of deaths from the disease by more than half. The findings appeared February 23, 2012, in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- Sigmoidoscopy Markedly Reduces Colorectal Cancer Incidence and Mortality
A single sigmoidoscopy procedure reduced colorectal cancer incidence and mortality in a large randomized trial published online April 27, 2010, in The Lancet.
- Cancer Trends Progress Report: Colorectal Cancer Screening
This section of the Cancer Trends Progress Report focuses on the use of the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and colorectal endoscopy (sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy).
- Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial
A large-scale clinical trial to determine whether certain cancer screening tests reduce deaths from prostate, lung, colorectal, and ovarian cancer. In addition, there are numerous epidemiologic and ancillary studies going on that will answer other crucial questions about these cancers and these screening tests.
Screening to Detect Cancer: Colon and Rectal Cancer
Dr. Barry Kramer summarizes the results of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and
Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial. Dr. Christine Berg discusses the results of the
colorectal cancer arm of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer