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A screening can detect colon cancer.

There are two types of screenings that can detect colon cancer. A colonoscopy — a painless screening beginning at age 45 — can find polyps that can lead to cancer and remove them on the spot. A FIT test — performed at home — can also detect colon cancer.

Doctor with a female patient discussing colon cancer screening


What causes colon cancer?

Men and women who are at greater risk for colon cancer:

  • Eat a diet high in red and processed meats
  • Have Type 2 diabetes
  • Have a history of colon cancer
  • Are obese
  • Are age 45 or older
  • Have a history of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Smoke
  • Are African American
  • Have a history of ulcerative colitis
  • Are a man who has 15 or more alcoholic drinks per week or a woman who has 8 or more alcoholic drinks per week.
  • Have a history of colorectal adenomatous polyps
  • Have a history of Crohn’s disease
  1. People are being diagnosed younger than age 45.

    Most ignored their symptoms and were diagnosed at a late stage, when cancer is difficult to treat.

  2. People younger than 45

    You have a greater risk of being diagnosed at a younger age if you:

    • Have relatives diagnosed with colon cancer
    • Have diabetes
    • Have inflammatory bowel disease
    • Are obese (20 or more pounds overweight)
    • Have been diagnosed with Lynch syndrome
    • Drink more sweetened beverages and less milk
    • Are African American
    • Eat processed meats
  3. Colon cancer symptoms

    These symptoms could indicate you have colon cancer:

    • Unexplained rectal bleeding
    • Blood in the stool
    • Weakness and fatigue
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Abdominal pain
    • Recent and persistent changes in bowel habits
    • Iron-deficiency anemia
    • A constant feeling that you need to have a bowel movement

Preventive screenings

Types of colon cancer screenings:

  • Colonoscopy

    This painless screening can find potentially cancerous polyps and remove them on the spot.

  • FIT test

    You can use a test kit at home to collect a sample of your stool and send it to a lab for testing.

Nurse Navigators

Delaware nurse navigators can help you get screened for cancer.

Whether you have insurance or not, Delaware nurse navigators can help you get screened for cancer and provide follow-up help when you get your results. Choose from the list below to call a nurse navigator directly, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or click the call request button to have a nurse navigator contact you.

A Nurse Navigator on the phone supporting a patient
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