Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer among men and
women. Several tests can find hidden colorectal cancer while it
is still small and treatable. These include colonoscopy, flexible
sigmoidoscopy, CT colonography, fecal occult blood test, and
others. Testing should generally start at age 50, but women (and
men) with a strong family history of colorectal cancer should
talk with their doctors about having their first colonoscopy
sooner than that. It's best to have a colonoscopy once every 10
years; a virtual colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, or
double-contrast barium enema once every five years; or a stool
check for blood once a year.
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