LSU Medical School

February is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month and the message is early detection is key. Current guidelines say the average patient with no family history should have their first screening at the age of 50. Family history and other health factors could require screening earlier.

The most effective screening process is still a colonoscopy and Dr. Melanie Bienvenu joined us to talk about the importance of getting one.

Here are the guidelines from the GI.com:

...Colonoscopy every 10 years, beginning at age 50, remains the preferred CRC screening strategy. It is recognized that colonoscopy is not available in every clinical setting because of economic limitations. It is also realized that not all eligible persons are willing to undergo colonoscopy for screening purposes. In these cases, patients should be offered an alternative CRC prevention test (flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5–10 years, or a computed tomography (CT) colonography every 5 years) or a cancer detection test (fecal immunochemical test for blood, FIT).