Colorectal Cancer Screening: Questions for the doctor

Colorectal Cancer Screening: Questions for the doctor

If you are 50 to 75 years old, get screened (tested) regularly for colorectal cancer. You may need to get tested before age 50 or after age 75 if colorectal cancer runs in your family.

Cancer of the colon or rectum is also called colorectal cancer. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine. 

There are several kinds of screening tests for colorectal cancer. Some can even be done at home. Before your next doctor visit, check out Colorectal Cancer Screening: Which test would I prefer? Then share the results with your doctor.

Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans must cover screening for colorectal cancer for people over age 50 at no cost to you. Talk with your insurance company to learn more.

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?
  • What are the different types of screening tests for colorectal cancer?
  • Which screening test do you recommend? Why?
  • How often do I need to get tested?
  • What happens during the 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?