Colon Cancer Screening

Why should I get screened for colon cancer?

Colon cancer, also called colorectal cancer, is a growth of abnormal cells in a person’s colon.  Colon cancer screening detects any abnormal growths, called polyps, in the colon. If these growths are found early, they can often be treated before they become cancerous.

Colon cancer is usually preventable with regular screening. Screening also reduces a person’s risk of dying from colorectal cancer by 60 percent. 

Who needs to be screened for colon cancer?

We recommend that every person 45 years and older get screened.

You can speak to your primary care provider to find out when and how you should get screened. You can also call the Denver Health Endoscopy Lab Coordinator, Jennifer Dozier, at 303-602-4468 and/or 720-392-5392 to obtain more information.

Where can I get screened?

Denver Health offers two types of colorectal cancer screening

  1. A simple stool-based test called FIT that you can do at home; or
  2. A procedure called a colonoscopy that you can perform at Denver Health’s Endoscopy Lab.

If you are interested in either of these options please contact Denver Health Endoscopy Lab Coordinator, Jennifer Dozier, at 303-602-4468 or 720-392-5392.

How much does colorectal cancer screening cost?

The cost of colorectal cancer screening varies depending on your insurance plan. If you don’t have insurance, we offer self-pay options. For the most up-to-date cost for a colonoscopy (the most common screening procedure), call 303-602-3466.

What are the symptoms of colon cancer?

Colon cancer may not cause symptoms right away, but if it does, it may cause one or more of these symptoms:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation or narrowing of the stool that lasts for more than a few days
  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that’s not relieved by having one
  • Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
  • Blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark
  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain 
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss

What is the treatment for colon cancer?

Treatment for colon cancer is dependent on the severity (stage) of cancer at the time of diagnosis and may include surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy or other targeted treatments.

What else can I do to reduce my risk of colon cancer?

Developing healthy lifestyle habits, such as the following, may also help lower your risk of colorectal cancer:

  • Regular exercise
  • Eating a high-fiber diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Reducing alcohol and tobacco use