Screening tests can find or prevent many cases of colon cancer. They look for a certain disease or condition before any symptoms appear.

Screening tests that may find colon cancer early include:

Stool tests, such as the fecal immunochemical test or the fecal occult blood test. Sigmoidoscopy, which lets your doctor look at the inside of the lower part of your colon using a lighted tube. Colonoscopy, which lets your doctor look at the inside of your entire colon using a thin, flexible tube.

Experts recommend colon cancer testing for everyone age 50 and older who has a normal risk for colon cancer. People with a higher risk, such as those with a strong family history of colon cancer, should be tested sooner. Talk to your doctor about when you should be tested.

Here are other things you can do to help prevent colon cancer:

Watch your weight. Being very overweight may increase your chance of getting colon cancer. Eat well. Eat more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, poultry, and fish. And eat less red meat, refined grains, and sweets. Limit drinking. Drink less than 2 alcohol drinks a day. Get active. Keep up a physically active lifestyle. Quit smoking. If you smoke cigarettes, quit smoking to reduce your chance of getting colon cancer.

Your doctor must write an order for you to schedule a colon screening. Ask your doctor for more information or call the number below.