Colorectal Cancer Screening: Which test would I prefer?

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Colorectal Cancer Screening: Which test would I prefer?

Everyone ages 45 to 75 needs to get screened for colorectal cancer. Screening saves lives because it can help catch cancer early, when it’s easier to treat. There are 3 main types of colorectal cancer screening tests: colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, and stool tests. Each test has pros and cons.

To find out which test you might prefer, answer the following questions. Questions like these can help patients make health care decisions that fit their preferences.

Then share the results with your doctor. Together, you and your doctor can choose the best test for you.

Before a colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, you need to have a bowel prep, which involves drinking a laxative solution. The laxative will make you have loose bowel movements or diarrhea over a number of hours in order to clean out your bowels. This can get in the way of your normal activities the day and night before the test.

How much would it bother you to drink a laxative that makes you go to the bathroom a lot?