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Colorectal Cancer Screening & Prevention Program

Take the first step in colorectal cancer prevention.

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.

Colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer, 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. When detected early, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer.

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 surgeonsoncologists, radiologists, and pathologists to form a multidisciplinary team aimed at preventing and treating colorectal cancer.

Take the Quiz: Do I Need a Colorectal Cancer Screening?

Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

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Ages 21 - 44

Find out if you are at a higher risk for colon cancer. If not, then a screening test is not needed at this time.
If you are at increased risk, talk to a health care provider about when you need to start screening and what screening tests are right for you.

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Ages 45 - 75

Regular screenings should begin at age 45 for average risk adults.

People who are in good health with a life expectancy of more than 10 years should continue regular colorectal cancer screening through the age of 75.
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Ages 76 - 85

Talk with your health care provider about whether continuing screening is right for you. Most people older than 85 no longer need to be screened.

Find a Primary Care Provider

Having someone to guide you through healthy lifestyle changes can make those changes easier. Reach out to one of our primary care providers today.

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Colorectal Cancer Screening Assessment 

Colorectal Cancer Screening Options

Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful tools for preventing and detecting colorectal cancer. 

Screening is the process of looking for cancer or pre-cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease. Screening can be done either with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool (a stool-based test), or with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum (a visual exam).

The types of tests performed at our screening clinic include:

GI Did You Know myth video thumbnail

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

Preventing Colorectal Cancer

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

Browse healthy recipes


Exercise regularly

Aim to get 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day.

No Alcohol

Limit alcohol use

Limit the amount of alcohol you drink to no more than one drink a day.

Learn how alcohol affects the body

no smoking

Quit smoking

If you smoke and would like help quitting, please contact our Smoking Cessation Program.

Learn about our Smoking Cessation Program


Maintain a healthy weight

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight includes healthy eating, physical activity, optimal sleep, and stress reduction.

View weight loss articles

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Know your family history

Knowing your family health history of colorectal cancer and sharing this information with your doctor can help you take steps to lower your risk.

Learn about our Cancer Genetics Screening Program

Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer

Anyone can develop colorectal cancer; however, a few conditions can increase your risk of developing it.
Knowing your risk for getting colorectal cancer will help you decide when screening is right for you.

You are considered higher risk if you:

  • have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
  • have a genetic syndrome such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (Lynch syndrome)
  • are of African American or Ashkenazi Jewish descent

If any of these risk factors apply to you, talk with your healthcare provider about when to start screening.

Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer

Most often colorectal cancer doesn’t cause symptoms until it has grown or spread. That’s why it’s best to be tested for colorectal cancer before ever having any symptoms. However, symptoms of colorectal cancer may include:

  • rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • a change in your bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrow stool that lasts more than a few days
  • unexplained abdominal pain or cramping
  • discomfort or urge to have a bowel movement after you have one
  • bloating or full feeling
  • unexplained weakness and fatigue
  • unexplained weight loss

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colorectal Cancer Screening

Schedule Your Colorectal Screening

With multiple screening options, highly experienced gastroenterologists, and offices throughout Western New York and the Finger Lakes region, Rochester Regional Health makes getting a colorectal screening easy. If you are 45 or older, or are considered high risk, schedule your screening today.