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Colorectal Cancer Screening & Prevention Program

Rochester Regional Health's Colorectal Cancer Screening and Prevention Program is designed to educate and help prevent colorectal cancer in men and women. Our board-certified gastroenterologists work closely with experienced colorectal surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists to form a multidisciplinary team aimed at preventing and treating colorectal cancer.

Schedule a Screening Today (585) 922-3989


What Is Colorectal Cancer?

You may know colorectal cancer by its more common name of colon cancer. It is cancer of the colon or rectum, and is the third most common cancer and second leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Colorectal cancers begin when the tissue that lines the colon or rectum grows uncontrollably, resulting in polyps. However, with regular screenings, approximately 60% of these deaths can be prevented.

Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Besides regular screenings, simple lifestyle changes may help lower your risk of colorectal cancer. 

  • Maintain a healthy diet: eat a low calorie, high fiber diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and plant-based foods; limit red meat and processed foods
  • Regular exercise: 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day
  • Limit alcohol and tobacco use: If you smoke and would like help quitting, please contact our Smoking Cessation Program.
  • Know your family history: talk to your family about their health history. Genetic testing may be recommended.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Early stages of colorectal cancer usually occur without any symptoms. Most colorectal cancers begin as polyps, small non-cancerous growths on the colon wall that can grow larger and become cancerous. As polyps or cancers grow, they can bleed or block the intestines. It is best to detect colorectal cancer before any symptoms develop, through a screening test.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Blood in the stool or toilet after a bowel movement
  • Diarrhea or constipation that does not go away
  • Change in normal bowel habits, such as size, shape and frequency
  • Discomfort or urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need
  • Abdominal pain or a cramping pain in your lower stomach
  • Bloating or full feeling
  • Change in appetite
  • Weight loss without dieting
  • Fatigue

These symptoms may not mean that you have colorectal cancer, but, if you notice unexplained changes and they persist for more than two weeks, it is time to call a doctor.


Early detection of colorectal cancer makes for more effective treatment. That’s why screening is so important.

To aid in the prevention and early diagnosis of colorectal cancer, Rochester Regional Health’s colorectal screening clinic provides screening tests and procedures to detect polyps, lesions and other abnormalities that may develop into cancer.

Screening Tests

Screening is the process of looking for cancer or pre-cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease. Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful tools for preventing colorectal cancer.

Types of tests performed at our screening clinic include:


If you've been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, your doctor will order tests to determine the extent (stage) of your cancer. Staging helps determine what treatments are most appropriate for you.

  • Stage 0 - This is the earliest stage possible, also called the local stage. Cancer hasn't moved from where it started; it's still restricted to the innermost lining of the colon.
  • Stage I - Cancer has begun to spread, but is still in the inner lining.
  • Stage II - Many of these cancers have grown through the wall of the colon and may extend into nearby tissue. They have not yet spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage III - Cancer has spread to lymph nodes, but has not been carried to distant parts of the body.
  • Stage IV - Cancer has been carried through the lymph system to distant parts of the body, most commonly the lungs and liver.
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Debunking the Myths

Dr. Jason Gutman, a Gastroenterologist for Rochester Regional Health, debunks some of the myths around colorectal cancer screenings and colonoscopies.

Watch Now
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Do You Need A Colorectal Cancer Screening?

Not sure whether you need a colorectal cancer screening? Take this 2-minute quiz to find out.

Take the Quiz


If caught early, colorectal cancer can be successfully treated. Your unique treatment will depend on factors such asyour general health, the site of your tumor, and the stage of diagnosis.

Treatment options offered by the experts at Rochester Regional Health include:

Colorectal cancer may be treated with surgery alone, surgery and chemotherapy, or with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Frequently Asked Questions
About Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Screenings When and Where You Need Them

Conveniently located throughout Western New York and the Finger Lakes region, our gastroenterology locations let you get the care you need close to home. 

female doctor illustration

Do You Need A Colorectal Cancer Screening?

Not sure whether you need a colorectal cancer screening? Take this 2-minute quiz to find out.
Take the Quiz