Colon cancer:

Let's learn the facts

If you're 45 or older, it's time
to screen for colon cancer.
Ready to learn where to begin?

Watch this short video and check
out the sections below.

Why screening matters

What is colon cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the colon or rectum that can invade nearby tissues or spread to other organs. Normally, colon cancer starts as a polyp (small growth) that gets larger over time. Not all polyps are cancerous, but some do turn into cancer.1

Watch this short video to learn more about polyps and early detection

Why get screened?

When caught in early stages, colon cancer is treatable in about 90% of people.2
The American Cancer Society recommends those at average risk get screened starting at age 45, since colon cancer is on the rise in people under the age of 50.3
Many patients with early‐stage colon cancer have no symptoms and are diagnosed through screening.1

Who should get screened?

Who’s at risk and when should you get screened?

Everyone 45 years and older at average risk for colon cancer needs to get screened.3 Even if you don’t have a family history or symptoms.1,4 Colon cancer is the 3rd most commonly occurring cancer in both men and women—of all races.5 Some racial groups are more at risk than others.1

Statistically, Black Americans are more likely to develop colon cancer than any other racial group, and more likely to be diagnosed with later-stage colon cancer. Hispanic Americans have the second-highest death rate due to colon cancer, following Black Americans.6

Why getting screened early matters

Getting screened regularly may increase your chances of finding, treating, and potentially surviving colon cancer.7 Because the risk of colon cancer increases with age, even if you have been screened in the past, you should get screened again in the future.1 How often you screen depends on which test you choose.3

True or False?

Read each statement and select whether you think it’s true, or false.

  • 1. Only men need to worry about colon cancer

    Actually, 47% of all new colon cancer cases in the US are diagnosed in women.5
    Correct, 47% of all new colon cancer cases in the US are diagnosed in women.5
  • 2. Only people with a family history of colon cancer need to get screened

    Actually, about 70% of people with colon cancer have no family history.4
    Correct, about 70% of people with colon cancer have no family history.4
  • 3. Colon cancer doesn't always show obvious signs at early stages

    Correct, with colon cancer, symptoms often only occur at later stages.1
    Actually, with colon cancer, symptoms often only occur at later stages.1

Ways to get screened

What are my screening options?1,3,8,9

Swipe right to left to compare
screening options

Colonoscopy(Visual exam)
Multitarget ​stoolDNA test*
FIT/FOBT*(fecal immunochemical test/
fecal occult blood test)
Swipe to
compare screening options

How does it work?

Uses a scope to look for and
remove abnormal growths in
the colon/rectum
Finds abnormal DNA and blood
in the stool sample
Detects blood in the
stool sample

Who is it for?

Adults at high or average risk
Adults at average risk
Adults at average risk

How often?

Every 10 years
Every 3 years3
Once a year

Is it noninvasive?

Yes, used at home
Yes, used at home

Prep required?

Yes, full bowel prep including
fasting and laxatives

Time it takes?

1-2 days for bowel
prep and procedure
The time it takes
to collect a sample
The time it takes
to collect a sample

After a positive result?

Polyps removed and
examined (biopsy)
A colonoscopy is needed
A colonoscopy is needed

* All positive results on non-colonoscopy screening tests should be followed up with timely colonoscopy.

For adults at high risk, screening intervals may be more frequent and should be discussed with your healthcare provider.

FIT does not require changes to diet or medication. FOBT requires changes to diet or medication.

Take action and get screened

Now that you know why getting screened regularly and on time is important, talk with your healthcare provider, or an online telehealth provider about which option might be best for you. If you think that Cologuard is the right option for you, click the button below to learn more.

What’s next after getting screened?

Routine screening provides important information about your health.

If no signs of cancer are found during screening, talk to your healthcare provider about when you should plan to screen again.
If signs of cancer are found during screening, you and your healthcare provider can decide on the best course of action together. This will depend on which screening option you chose; for noninvasive tests, a positive result should be followed by colonoscopy.3

Is getting screened for colon cancer covered by insurance?

The Affordable Care Act requires most insurers to cover colon cancer screening at no cost to the patient. Exceptions apply; only your insurer can tell you how getting screened would be covered for you.3


1. Colorectal cancer facts & figures 2020-2022. American Cancer Society; 2020.
2. National Cancer Institute. SEER cancer stat facts: colorectal cancer. Accessed August 23, 2021.
3. Wolf AMD, Fontham ETH, Church TR, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults: 2018 guidelines update from the American Cancer Society. CA Cancer J Clin. 2018;68(4):250-281.
4. NCI. Genetics of colorectal cancer (PDQ) - health professional version. Accessed August 23, 2021.
5. Cancer facts & figures 2021. American Cancer Society; 2021.
6. Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, Part I: National Cancer Statistics. Henley; 2021.
7. American Cancer Society. Cancer prevention & early detection facts & figures 2021-2022. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2020.
8. Davidson KW, Barry MJ, Mangione CM, et al. Screening for colorectal cancer - US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2021;325(19):1965-1977. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6238
9. Colorectal Cancer Alliance. How to prepare for your colonoscopy. Accessed August 23, 2021.

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