Healthy Communities

Colorectal Cancer

 

Colorectal cancers can be broken into two sections, the colon, and the rectum. These cancers can form in the inner lining of the colon or rectum and usually begin as noncancerous polyps which are unusual, small growths of tissue in the lining.

Colorectal cancer can be slow-growing cancer that does not always show symptoms at the beginning, which is why screening is so important. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting screened.

The two main risk factors for colorectal cancer are age and family history. However, it is important to note that there are other factors that can increase your risk for colorectal cancer. Read more about CRC risk factors here. To reduce your risk of colorectal cancer it is important to be physically active, reduce or quit your alcohol and tobacco use, and reduce your red meat consumption.

Colorectal Cancer Information

 

     Colorectal Cancer Informational graphic

 

Colorectal cancers can be broken into two sections, the colon and the rectum. These cancers can form in the inner lining of the colon or rectum and usually begin as noncancerous polyps which are unusual, small growths of tissue in the lining. Colorectal cancer can be a slow growing cancer that does not always show symptoms in the beginning, which is why screening is so important. If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about getting screened.

The two main risk factors for colorectal cancer are age and family history. However, it is important to note that there are other factors that can increase your risk for colorectal cancer. Read more about CRC risk factors here. To reduce your risk of colorectal cancer it is important to be physically active, reduce or quit your alcohol and tobacco use, and reduce your red meat consumption.

 

Colorectal Cancer Screening Options  

Screening can detect colorectal cancer early when it is more likely to be curable. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends those aged 45-75 years old be screened. The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) also come out with screening recommendations every year. The table below has the type of test and what the recommendations are for that test. There are many affordable screening options that are available to you, including take-home tests. Talk to your doctor about which test is the best option for you and remember that the best test is the one that gets done!

CRC Screening Options Table

 

Test

Definition

USPSF

ACG

ACS

FOBT KIT

The test stands for fecal occult blood test. This is a take home test that uses guaiac (a substance from a plant that coats the test cards) to detect blood in the stool.

Annually

Annually

Annually

FIT KIT

This stands for fecal immunochemical test. This take home stool test uses antibodies to check for blood in the stool.

Annually

Annually

Annually

FIT-DNA or sDNA (Stool DNA)

This take home stool test uses a whole stool sample to check for DNA changes in the stool.

Annually

Not recommended

Every 3 years

CT colonoscopy (virtual colonoscopy)

This test uses x-rays to check images for the entire colon for polyps.  It should be done every 5 years.

Every 5 years

Not recommended

Every 5 years

Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

This test uses a short, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps and cancer in the rectum and lower third of the colon. Polyps and cancers found can be removed during the procedure.

Every 5 years with an FOBT done every 3 years

Every 5 years

Every 5 years

Colonoscopy

This test uses a long, flexible, lighted tube to check for polyps and cancer in the rectum and the entire colon.  Polyps and cancers found can be removed during the procedure.

Every 10 years

Every 10 years

Every 10 years

 

Additional Resources:

Public Health Accrediation Board
Arkansas Department of Health
© 2017 Arkansas Department of Health. All Rights Reserved. www.healthy.arkansas.gov
4815 W. Markham, Little Rock, AR 72205-3867
1-800-462-0599