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Public Health - Seattle & King County

Colon cancer: Preventable. Treatable. Beatable!

Learn how to prevent colon cancer

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.

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

"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."
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.

Be a positive example for your family and friends - ask your provider about colon health screening
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.

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

Types of colon health screening

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.

Additional resources