Talk To Your Doctor

Talking with a Health Care Professional

Colorectal screening saves lives. All tests can detect colorectal cancer early, and some of them can also find pre-cancers. Colorectal cancer develops from adenomatous polyps (grape-like growths in the colon or rectum) that may become cancerous overtime. With screening these polyps can be found and removed before they become cancer. When you turn 50 years old talk with your health care professional about colorectal cancer (Have that talk when you are younger, if you are at higher risk.). If you are not satisfied with the responses you hear, talk with another health care professional. Here are some questions to help you begin this important conversation:

1. I just turned 50 years old. Should I be tested for colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer?
2. I don’t have any family history of colorectal cancer or of colorectal polyps. Should I still be tested?
3. Or … My medical history and/or my family medical history put me at an increased risk for colorectal cancer; should I be tested at a younger age and more often?
4. I understand there are a number of screening tests available; would you tell me about each of these tests and the risks and benefits?
5. I don’t know which screening test is appropriate for me now. Which test do you recommend and why?
6. Will you perform the test? If not, who will?
7. Will I be awake or asleep during the test?
8. What will happen during the test?
9. Will the test hurt?
10. How will I learn the results of the test?
11. What kind of follow-up care will I need if the tests show a problem?
12. If the tests show nothing wrong, when should I be tested again?
13. What is the cost of these tests? Will my insurance cover the cost?