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Waiting for colon cancer symptoms is waiting too long

60% of colon cancer deaths could be prevented with a colonoscopy screening

During the early stages of colon cancer, many people don’t experience any symptoms. And, a colonoscopy is the best way to prevent colon cancer or catch it when it’s most curable. That’s why it’s so important to get your screening when you turn 45, or earlier if your doctor says so.


Get a Referral

Don’t wait until it's too late. For a referral, search for a Beaumont doctor online today.

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What to Expect

Worried about the prep or procedure? Learn what to expect and why it may not be as bad as you think.

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When do I need to get my first colonoscopy?

Beaumont recommends everyone at average risk for colon cancer get a colonoscopy at age 45. The good news is that most polyps grow slowly, so after a polyp free screening, most people won’t need another one for five to 10 years.

Some people may need a colonoscopy or other non-invasive screening even earlier:

  • For those with a parent or sibling who has had colon cancer, schedule yours 10 years before their age when diagnosed. So, if your father was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 53, you need your first screening at 43.
  • If you have inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis talk to your doctor to see if you need to begin screenings sooner.


The American Cancer Society has recently changed their recommendation to begin colonoscopies at age 45 due to the number of colorectal cancer cases being diagnosed in younger people. While the ACS supports the change in guidelines, not all insurance companies will cover the screening before age 50.

Talk to your doctor if you have questions about when you should be screened and check with your insurance company on coverage.


Colonoscopy FAQs
Colonoscopy FAQs

Importance of Colon Cancer Screenings

There are typically few or no symptoms of early stage colon cancer. The only way to know is through regular screenings.

Most colon cancer begins as harmless polyps or growths in your colon. The goal is to find the polyps and remove them before they become cancerous. Doctors can remove these polyps during a colonoscopy.

Which screening is right for you?

While colonoscopy is still considered the gold standard for preventing and detecting colon cancer, there are other non-invasive screenings available. Talk to your doctor about what test is right for you.

  • Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year: This test looks for blood in your stool. You do this test at home and send stool samples for analysis.
  • Fecal DNA and occult blood test every 3 years (COLOGUARD): This test detects abnormal DNA and blood in your stool. This test also can be done at home.
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG): The doctor looks for polyps or cancer in the rectum and lower third of the colon.
  • Both annual FOBT and FSIG every five years
  • Double-contrast barium enema every five years

Additional Resources

Insurance Coverage

Colonoscopy health insurance coverage

Before you schedule your appointment, make sure that you’re covered.

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After the Screening

Colonoscopy appointment date circled on calendar

People worry about the prep, but what should you expect once the test is over?

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Reduce Your Risk

Man using tablet to research risks of developing colon cancer

There are things you can do to prevent colon cancer. Know your risks.

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In the News

Get a Referral by Phone

You may also speak with a representative for a referral by phone. However, due to an increase in call volume, extended wait times should be expected. For faster service, we recommend you find a Beaumont doctor online. Thank you in advance for your patience.


Beaumont call center open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.