Colorectal Cancer Screening

The major risk factors for colorectal cancer are a family history and older age, though there are several other factors that have been associated with an increased risk in the disease, including excessive alcohol use, obesity, being physically inactive, cigarette smoking, and possibly diet.

The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force strongly recommends screening for colorectal cancer for both men and women. Most colorectal cancers begin as a growth in the tissue that lines the inner surface of the colon or rectum, also known as a polyp. Prevention of colon cancer starts by undergoing screening to detect and remove polyps from the colon before they become cancerous. Screening methods to find colon or rectal changes that may lead to cancer include laboratory tests such as fecal occult blood tests (FOBT), which checks for blood in the stool, and imaging tests such as sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy using an endoscope. An endoscope is a long, narrow, flexible tube with a light and video camera. During an endoscopy, this endoscope is used by your surgeon to examine your upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract using a video screen.

An upper GI endoscopy is a special exam that allows your Community Care general surgeon to look directly into your upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which includes the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Upper GI endoscopy helps diagnose cancer and can be used to take a biopsy as well, or a sample of tissue taken for analysis, to remove foreign objects or growths.

Your Community Care general surgeon can exam your lower gastrointestinal tract using lower endoscopy. Your entire colon and rectum can be examined (colonoscopy) or just the rectum and sigmoid colon can be examined (sigmoidoscopy). A lower GI endoscopy may be used for screening for colon or rectal cancer. During the endoscopy procedure growths (or polyps) may also be removed and a biopsy of tissue can be taken.

These screening tests can reduce the chance of developing colorectal cancer and, if colorectal cancer is found, the disease can usually be cured if caught early on.

Screening Locations

When your primary care provider refers you for a colonoscopy or endoscopy, you’ll be seen by one of the specialists at Community Care General Surgery.

Community Care General Surgery provides services in local hospitals, but they can also provide upper and lower GI endoscopy (endoscopy and colonoscopy) services in CCP’s and Endoscopy and Surgical Care Suite. Precancerous polyps which can be removed during the test and may find cancer early when it is most treatable.

You can obtain the materials for the High-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests (FOBT) from your Community Care Physicians’ primary care office.

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If something suspicious is found during your colorectal screening exam, your doctor will recommend additional testing verify there is disease present. Further testing may include blood tests, biopsy, and imaging tests, including ultrasound, or sonography, CT or CAT scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), Positron emission tomography (PET) scan. Imaging tests or surgical procedures may be done for a number of reasons, including to help find out whether a suspicious area might be cancerous, to learn how far cancer may have spread, and to help determine if treatment is working. Our specialists are here to answer all of your questions and explain each step and result to you. We can also help connect you with support services if desired.


After your colorectal cancer has been diagnosed and staged, your healthcare team will recommend treatment. CCP offers numerous state-of-the-art options for colon cancer and/or rectal cancer treatment — including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation oncology, or a combination of these options. Our goal is to provide you with numerous options for care in a comfortable setting. Our surgeons use the leading technological advances for their treatment. Our medical oncologists provide chemotherapy in separate suites. Our radiation oncologists offer patients the latest in radiation oncology using dynamic targeting technology. We can help you navigate the various cancer treatment options available to you. We encourage you to meet with our physicians to discuss your options and personal care plan in more detail.