Colorectal Cancer & Screenings

Colorectal cancer (excluding skin cancers) is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.

Colorectal cancer often forms from polyps found within the colon, but these polyps can be removed before developing into cancer. Screening (also known as a colonoscopy) can often detect colorectal cancer early when it's small, hasn't spread, and therefore may be easier to treat.

It is recommended that all men and women schedule regular colorectal screenings as part of their routine health maintenance beginning at age 45.

However, people under age 45 who have any of the following are considered high risk and should be screened sooner:

  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
  • A family history of colorectal cancer
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
  • A confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC)
  • A personal history of getting radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer.

Colon Cancer Screening Saves Lives

Dr. Keith Naylor, gastroenterologist at UI Health, discusses key information about preventing, screening, and treating colon cancer. UI Health offers a variety of screening options as well as a robust cancer treatment and survivorship programs.

Colorectal Cancer Facts

  • It is approximated that the overall lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 26 for women.
  • In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths.
  • It ranks as the second leading cause of cancer-related fatalities among both men and women combined.
  • It is expected to cause about 52,550 deaths during 2023.

When colorectal cancer is located at an early stage before it has spread, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 90%. However, only 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found at this early stage. Survival rates are lower when cancer has spread outside the colon or rectum

African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer rates of all ethnic groups in the United States, with mortality roughly 20 percent higher in African Americans than in White Americans. In addition, colorectal cancer occurs at a younger age, and there is a higher frequency in African Americans under 50.

Multiple organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS), U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), recommend that people start regular screening at age 45.

Request an Appointment

We provide colonoscopies for colorectal cancer screening for new and established patients in our state-of-the-art GI & Endoscopy Lab.

If you are interested in scheduling a screening or follow-up colonoscopy, please call 312.413.7676 and leave a confidential voicemail message with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Telephone number

You will be contacted within five business days to schedule your appointment.

Refer a Patient

If you are a healthcare provider outside the UI Health system who wants to refer a patient for screening colonoscopy, please download the referral form (docx) and fax it to our scheduling department at 312.413.3798. Our staff will contact your patient and schedule a screening colonoscopy appointment.