Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Routine Screening Prevents Colon Cancer

Screening for the prevention and early detection of colon cancer is crucial to improve one's chances against colon cancer. Screening has led to a decline in the number of deaths from colon cancer over the last 20 years. Early detection is essential to ensure survival if cancer is found. When polyps or cancer in its early stages are found, the cure rate is close to 100%. Unfortunately fewer than half of Americans over the age of 50 have had any kind of colon-cancer screening test. 

Regular screenings starting at age 50 for people at average risk have a very good chance of catching polyps on their way to becoming cancer.  Colorectal cancer is typically slow gorwing, taking 5 to 10 years to develop.  When benign or precancerous polyps are removed during coloncoscopy screenings, coon cancer may be prevented from developing at all.  This represents more than just a means of detecting cancer early, IT PREVENTS COLORECTAL CANCER FROM STARTING IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Educational campaigns and screening strategies targeted at high-risk groups are urgently needed to increase the public's awareness of colorectal cancer screening for prevention and early detection.

Screening for hereditary colorectal cancer syndromes involves genetic testing.

The Johns Hopkins colorectal cancer health care team utilizes the lastest in diagnostic tests to screen for colorectal cancer:


Flexible sigmoidoscopy 

Barium enema 

Virtual colonoscopy 

Fecal occult blood test

Stool DNA 

Screening for Patients at Average Risk for Colorectal Cancer:

Screening for Patients at Increased Risk for Colorectal Cancer:

Note: The term surveillance refers to screening done after treatment to detect cancer recurrence or metastasis.