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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Colon cancer: Preventable. Treatable. Beatable!

Colon Cancer Prevention logo If you are age 50 or older, colon health screening could save your life. With regular screening, you can stop colon cancer before it starts. Colon cancer starts with a growth, also called a polyp, that is not cancer. Colon health screening can find and remove growths before they develop into cancer.

Learn how to prevent colon cancer



Elder woman quoting: I went in for my first screening when I turned 50. I was so surprised - polyps were found and removed. I feel lucky I was able to avoid colon cancer"I went in for my first screening when I turned 50. I was so surprised - polyps were found and removed. I feel lucky I was able to avoid colon cancer"

Ellen, Seattle

Colon health screening is strongly recommended by the American Cancer Society and by the U.S. Preventive Health Services Task Force.


Ask about your family history

If you can, find out if there is a history of colon cancer in your family. It can help your medical provider decide if you need screening before age 50 and which screening test is right for you. It is important to have a colon health screening if you are age 50 or older, even if you feel fine and have no family history of colon cancer.

Man quoting: I found out my dad had colon cancer so I got screened at 43. Everything was fine. Im grateful to my dad for telling me about screening."I found out my dad had colon cancer so I got screened at 43. Everything was fine.

I'm grateful to my dad for telling me about screening."

Robert, Auburn

Ask to be screened

Don't wait for your medical provider to remind you. If you are age 50 or older, ask for a colon health screening. If you do not have a medical provider or if you need information about free or low-cost health insurance, call Community Health Access Program (CHAP) toll free 1-800-756-5437.

Patient visit to the doctor"Be a positive example for your family and friends - ask your provider about colon health screening."

Lynda Bishop, ARNP
Family Planning Clallam County

Tell others about screening

Many people don't get screened because they don't know they should. Share what you know about colon health screening with someone you care about. Colon health screening saves lives.

Mother and daughter"Only one-half of people who need it do this important screening test - please take the time to take care of your health."

Dr. Marcus Rempel
Rainier Beach Community Health Center

Types of colon health screening

Fecal occult blood test
Fecal occult blood test
There are four recommended screening tests for colon cancer. Talk to your medical provider to find out which test is best for you and when you should be screened. People who have a family history of colon cancer may need screening earlier than age 50.
  • Learn more about the Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and double contrast barium enema from the American Cancer Society.