Screening for colon cancer is the single best way for people to protect themselves from colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer in the United States as well as the third most common cancer killer. And screening helps on both of these counts, lowering the number of new cases and extending survival in those who develop the disease.
Unlike some other screening tests, tests for colon cancer can help find cancer early when it's most treatable but it can also find pre-cancer growths, called polyps, that can be removed before they have a chance to turn into cancer.
Most people should start screening at age 50. Some people at high risk should start earlier. There are a number of effective tests - each has pluses and minuses (see table). Talking with a doctor can help you decide which one is best for you. It's your health. Take Control.