Make the Call
Colorectal cancer, often referred to as colon cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, but it doesn't have to be. This disease is largely preventable and highly curable with recommended colon cancer screening.
Make That Call for Colon Cancer Screening is a health education campaign from NewYork-Presbyterian aimed at increasing cancer screening of at-risk populations, while also communicating with those not yet due for screening about ways to lower their colon cancer risk.
If you are age 45 or older, we urge you to Make That Call* to your doctor today to schedule an appointment for colon cancer screening. If you are younger than 45 but have risk factors that increase your risk for colorectal cancer, Make That Call* to your doctor to discuss screening at a younger age.
*Not all insurance plans provide coverage for colonoscopies for patients under the age of 50. Please check with your insurance provider.
Colon cancer occurs in both men and women and may occur at any age, but the risk is increased in persons age 45 and older. A number of factors can increase your risk of developing colon cancer, including:
- Personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
- Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Personal or family history of hereditary colon cancer syndromes (such as Lynch Syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis, Gardner syndrome, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome)
Early colon cancer often has no symptoms at all. When present, symptoms may include rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, narrowing of the stool, cramping pain in the abdomen, fatigue, or unexplained weight loss. If you have symptoms, please see your doctor promptly for evaluation and diagnosis.
Screening = Prevention & Early Detection
Screening refers to testing that is done before symptoms are present. These tests allow the detection of early colon cancer when it is highly curable, as well as the detection of growths, called polyps, which can turn into cancer. In removing a pre-cancerous polyp, colon cancer can often be prevented.
Women and men at average risk for colon cancer need to begin screening at age 45. The joint screening recommendations from the American Cancer Society, US Multi-Society Task Force on Colorectal Cancer, and American College of Radiology for those at average risk include one of the following options, grouped by screening tests used primarily for cancer and screening tests for both cancer & pre-cancerous polyps:
- Tests that detect both polyps and cancer
- Colonoscopy every 10 years; or
- Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years; or
- Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years; or
- Computed tomographic (CT) colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years.
- Tests that detect primarily cancer
- Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) with high sensitivity for cancer, every year; or
- Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) with high sensitivity for cancer, every year; or
- Stool DNA test with high sensitivity for cancer, every 3 years.
According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, colonoscopy is the preferred colon cancer screening test. A colonoscopy allows for the detection and removal of pre-cancerous polyps and identification of early cancers during a single examination. However, not everyone is able to receive a colonoscopy, sometimes due to medical or other reasons. The best test is the one that gets done.
Help Raise Awareness
Here's How to Raise Awareness Online
- Join NewYork-Presbyterian all month long on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Download the colon cancer fact and prevention sheet and share with your friends and family
Stay Connected with NewYork-Presbyterian All Year Long
- Subscribe to Advances, NYP’s newsletter containing health news and helpful tips for patients.
- Visit the hospital's event calendar for community events, classes and more across the New York region
- Follow NewYork-Presbyterian on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for cancer facts and health tips.
Call for Colon Cancer Screening
To make an appointment for colon cancer screening outside of New York call The Colon Cancer Alliance Hotline at 877-422-2030.