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Colorectal Cancer Screening: Questions for the doctor

Cancer of the colon or rectum is also called colorectal cancer. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine. If you are 50 to 75 years old, get screened (tested) regularly for colorectal cancer.

It’s important for both men and women to get screened. There is more than one kind of screening test for colorectal cancer. Talk with your doctor about which test is right for you.

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance plans must cover screening for colorectal cancer for people over age 50. Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get tested at no cost to you. Talk with your insurance company.

What do I ask the doctor?

Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down ahead of time. You may also want to ask a family member or close friend to go with you to take notes.

Print out these questions and take them to your appointment.

  • What is my risk for colorectal cancer?
  • When do you recommend that I start getting tested?
  • How often do I need to get tested?
  • What are the different types of screening tests for colorectal cancer?
  • Which screening test do you recommend? Why?
  • What’s involved in screening? How do I prepare?
  • Are there any dangers or side effects of screening?
  • How long will it take to get the results?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of colorectal cancer?