When Should You Start Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

By DCode Care Team | June 30th 2022

When Should You Start Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

When Should You Start Getting Screened for Colorectal Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is slowly becoming one of the leading cancers in many countries across the globe. It causes the third most number of cancer-related deaths in both males and females. Although there is no exact number, it causes over 53,000 deaths yearly as per a rough estimate. It makes important to have screened at the right time for colorectal cancer.

However, the question is when someone is screened for colorectal cancer should. There is no straight answer for this topic as it depends on factors like family history, lifestyle, ethnicity, and many more. We will discuss colorectal cancer in detail to give important information to the readers.

What are the major stages of colorectal cancer?

The cancer stage is determined by how far this disease has spread. We have explained the

five main stages below:

  • Stage 0

It is the earliest stage where cancer only reaches the inner part of the rectum.

  • Stage 1

Cancer reaches the inner layer of the rectum but doesn’t spread beyond its wall.

  • Stage 2

Cancer might haven’t reached the lymph nodes, but it has already grown beyond the colon wall.

  • Stage 3

The tumor has affected the lymph nodes but has yet to reach the other parts of the body.

  • Stage 4

Stage 4 is the condition where the tumor enters the other parts of the body, including the lungs, kidneys, and liver.

What are the major symptoms of colorectal cancer?

The chances of facing any symptoms in the early phase of this disease. It needs to be understood that the real ones begin once cancer spreads in the body. Have a look at the major symptoms of colorectal cancer in detail below:

  • Changes in Bowel Habits

An individual with colon cancer feels significant changes in bowel habits that need to be taken seriously. It can be constipation, diarrhoea, or stool narrowing that lasts for weeks or even months.

  • Unmeant Weight Loss

Another symptom that can be commonly acknowledged in patients with this cancer is unintended weight loss. It is coupled with weakness and fatigue in many cases.

  • Bleeding

It is common to see rectal bleeding when colon cancer spreads in the body. There is bright red blood from the rectal area in most cases.

  • Bloody Stool

The chances of blood in the stool are very high once cancer reaches the next stage. It makes the stool either black or dark brown in many patients.

  • Constant Bowel Feeling

Patients feel an urge to have a bowel movement even after having one. It turns out to be pretty irritating that everyone wishes to avoid.

  • Bloating

Feeling bloating in the belly is a very common symptom of colorectal cancer.

When should someone start screening for colon cancer?

We have divided this part into two categories, one for those at the average risk and the other for individuals with a higher risk. It needs to understand that everybody has a unique body, but few things are common for everyone.

People at Average Risk

Individuals with average risk should take care of the following things:

  • Individuals at average risk are those who should begin screening at the age of 45 years.
  • Individuals wishing to stay in good health are suggested to have regular screening until the age of 75 years.
  • Once someone surpasses 75, they should consult with their physician about how to get screened for colorectal cancer through the age of 85 years.
  • Surprisingly, individuals surpassing 85 years shouldn’t be screened for this disease.

People at Higher Risk

These are those people who should begin screening before the age of 45. There is a huge chance they may have to get screened for a few other tests. Individuals with taking care of the following things:

  • An individual with someone in their family with colorectal cancer or any particular kind of polyps.
  • Any previous history of colorectal cancer or any similar type of polyps.
  • If someone has a history of crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel issues, they should go for screening earlier than 45.
  • People exposed to radiation on the pelvis or belly for treating any type of cancer are always at high risk.

It is important for individuals at high risk to talk with their health care provider about the risks of colorectal cancer. They will help in choosing the ideal screening test and schedule.

What are the recommended tests for colorectal cancer?

There is a variety of screening options available for diagnosing colorectal cancer. It needs to understand that there are a few differences between them. However, it is essential to talk with your physician before selecting any particular test. We have listed the major ones in detail below:

  • Blood Tests

There are numerous blood tests that can be used to find out what is the reason for symptoms in their body. Physicians may go for live function tests and blood counts to identify other issues in the body.

  • Visual Tests

The doctors perform these tests to see the inner part of the rectum and colon. It is one of the most common tests for diagnosing colorectal cancer.

  • Fecal Tests

The doctors examine the stools during the fecal tests to find any traces of blood or cancer markers.

The doctors recommend the ideal screening method according to risks, symptoms, and other essential factors.

Which are the most suitable treatments for colorectal cancer?

Many factors are evaluated to find the ideal approach to treat colorectal cancer. We have mentioned the major factors in detail below:

  • How large is the tumor, and which stage it has reached?
  • Is cancer recurrent in your body
  • What kind of health possesses the patient
  • Age of patient and any family history

After evaluating these factors, the doctors will choose one of the following treatments according to the situation of a patient:


The most commonly used treatment for colorectal cancer is surgery, which mainly aims to remove cancerous tissues. It consists of affected lymph nodes and tumors to stop the cancer spread. The physicians generally suggest local excision and colectomy surgery to stop the cancer stoppage.


The next treatment doctors recommend it is destroying the cancer cells using chemotherapy drugs. It is very helpful for shrinking a tumor before performing the surgery if needed. Patients also get relieved from symptoms when cancer reaches later stages.

Targeted Therapy

The next treatment doctors use for treating colon cancer is targeted therapy, which mainly targets stopping the tumor cells from growing. However, it needs to understand that their adverse effects are quite low compared to chemotherapy.

Radiation Therapy

There are high-energy beams of radiation used during this treatment to demolish the cancer cells and stop their growth. It is used alongside chemotherapy for treating rectal cancer.


The exact timing of when to get screened for colorectal cancer depends on various factors that we have tried to explain in this article. It is suggested you should evaluate those things and consult with your physician.