COVID-19 Updates: Get the latest information from our experts: Vaccines Testing Visitor Guidelines Closings

Colorectal Cancer Screening & Prevention Program

Preventable. Beatable. Treatable.

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?


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. When detected early, colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer.

adult man with nurse

 

 

 

Colorectal Cancer Symptoms

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.

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors

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.

Need a primary care provider? Browse our list of doctors that are accepting new patients.

woman with stomach pain

Preventing Colorectal Cancer

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

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.

running on a treadmill blue icon

Exercise regularly

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

glass dink blue icon

Avoid alcohol use

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

Quit smoking

Quit smoking

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

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:

In addition to the screening options above, it is important to know your family history. Having a parent, sibling, or child (first-degree relative) or multiple family members on either side of your family who have had colorectal cancer puts you at higher risk.

Rochester Regional Health's Cancer Genetics Screening Program provides individualized hereditary cancer risk assessment, genetic counseling, and genetic testing services that help foster early cancer detection, prevention, and improved quality of life for you and your family.

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

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.