Illinois Medical Center  •  1001 Main Street - Suite 500A  •  Peoria, Illinois 61606


Colon Cancer Screening

Should you be screened for colon cancer? According to the ASGE (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) says that everyone over age 50, or those under 50 with a family history or risk factors, should be screened. There are many misconceptions about colon cancer. This section of our site provides you with some clarification of these myths. As you read each myth, ask yourself if it’s true or false – then click on the statements below for the answer.

Click on the question/statement below for the answer to be revealed.

TRUE. Some studies estimate that 90% of colon cancer cases could be prevented. Polyps are abnormal growths in the lining of the colon that are usually benign (noncancerous). However, since cancer starts in polyps, removing them is a form of cancer prevention.

FALSE. Even though you should be screened if you ARE experiencing symptoms, ALL men and women over age 50 should be screened even if they don’t have any problems or symptoms.

FALSE. Colorectal cancer affects men and women equally, and both genders should follow the same screening guidelines.

TRUE. For women, colorectal cancer ranks third after lung and breast cancer deaths. For men, colorectal cancer follows lung and prostate cancer deaths.

FALSE. There are five tests including digital rectal exam, stool occult blood test, barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy. Your physician will recommend the best exam based on your individual needs. Beginning at age 50, men and women should have at least:

  • Annual stool occult blood test;
  • Colonoscopy every ten years;
  • Digital rectal exam at time of each screening (sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or barium enema)

You should start screening sooner if you have a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, colon polyps, rectal bleeding or long-standing inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis.

FALSE. This procedure is almost always done on an outpatient basis at a hospital or freestanding ambulatory center such as Central Illinois Endoscopy Center. Patients are given a mild sedative to provide relaxation. You can learn more about colonoscopy in the Procedures section of our website.

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Illinois Gastroenterology Institute

Illinois Medical Center  •  1001 Main Street – Suite 500A  •  Peoria, Illinois 61606  •  Phone: (309) 672-4980  •  Fax: (309) 671-2931

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