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Colorectal Screening Saves Lives: What You Need to Know

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer that affects both men and women. With routine screening and early detection, we are able to significantly reduce the risk that you might develop colorectal cancer in the future.

New Recommendations for Screening

New guidelines recommend starting colorectal cancer screening at 45 years old. If you’re 45 or older and have not been screened or referred for screening, talk to your healthcare provider about one of several screening options.

Screening Options

There are several screening tests available, a couple of which are painless and non-invasive. Depending on your insurance status, family history or other risk factors, one of these tests may be appropriate for you.

  • Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT): Collect a stool sample at home and it will be evaluated for blood which could be indicative of cancer. This test is good for a year.

  • Cologuard® Multi-Targeted Stool DNA Test: Collect a stool sample at home to check for cancer-related DNA changes and blood. This test is good for three years.

  • Colonoscopy: A gastroenterologist uses a camera to examine the colon and rectum for polyps and cancer and is able to biopsy any polyps or changes that are found during the procedure. If normal, this may be sufficient for ten years.

Symptoms to Watch For

Be aware of these potential symptoms of colorectal cancer:

  • Unexplained abdominal pains

  • Blood in your stool

  • Changes in bowel habits

  • Unexplained weight loss

If you are currently experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.


Don’t Wait for Symptoms

Don’t wait for symptoms before getting screened. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may be more advanced and harder to treat. Routine screening can catch problems early, potentially preventing cancer and if found it may be more treatable.

Take Action

Don't wait, get screened!


Is it time to schedule your colorectal screening? Schedule an appointment with an Amoskeag Health provider by calling 603-626-9500.




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