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Colorectal Cancer Screening and Diagnosis

Beginning at age 50, the American Cancer Society recommends men and women have a colon screening. The recommended frequency of subsequent screenings is dependent upon findings and continued assessment of the risk. Colorectal cancer is 80% preventable when detected early.

Those with any significant risk (such as a family history of colorectal cancer) should ask their physician when and how often to receive colon cancer screenings.

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Changes in bowel habits (out of the ordinary diarrhea, constipation, narrowing of the stool).
  • Having the urge to have a bowel movement even after doing so.
  • Dark or bloody stools.
  • Stomach pain or cramps.

Many times these symptoms are not colorectal cancer, but it’s important to visit your physician to rule it out and find the cause.

Screening Techniques

The American Cancer Society recommends the following screening protocol for those at normal risk and over 50 years of age:


Overlake uses leading-edge diagnostics, employing sophisticated imaging techniques to detect cancer at its earliest possible stage. If your screening results suggest cancer, your doctor will refer you for follow-up testing, Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in combination with PET/CT* scanning, for instance, is one of the latest diagnostic tools used to detect and stage gastrointestinal and lung cancers. Using EUS, our physicians can explore the cancer’s exact location, determine the extent of the cancer and assess if the cancer has spread.

*provided by Washington Imaging Services

If you need to schedule a screening, contact your physician. To find an Overlake gastroenterologist search our online physician directory, or call our physician referral line at 425-688-5211.