Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Regular screening will discover polyps before they start developing colorectal cancer

Introduction

Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening tests help to identify if you have or are developing colorectal cancer.

The majority of colorectal cancers begin as a small growth on the bowel wall – a colorectal polyp or adenoma. These, often mushroom-shaped, growths are usually benign but some develop into cancer over time. If left untreated they can grow into the muscle layer underneath and then through the bowel wall.

Finding and removing polyps may prevent colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer is generally more treatable and curable when it is diagnosed early before it has had a chance to spread. This makes screening for colorectal cancer so important and why everyone over the age of 50 should be screened.

Screening tests help find some types of cancer before you have any symptoms.

It is important to take these tests even if you feel well and you have a healthy lifestyle. They should be part of your regular medical care.

In many European countries, if you are in a certain age or population group, you are invited for regular screening tests that can help identify colorectal cancer at an early stage, before you have even noticed that something might be wrong. Early detection is very important and that is what screening is designed for!

Take control of your health – see your doctor regularly and know when you should be screened for colorectal cancer.

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