U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


Colorectal Cancer Screening: Questions for the doctor

Cancer of the colon or rectum is also called colorectal cancer. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine. If you are 50 to 75 years old, get screened (tested) regularly for colorectal cancer.

It’s important for both men and women to get screened. There is more than one kind of screening test for colorectal cancer. Talk with your doctor about which test is right for you.

Screening for colorectal cancer is covered under the Affordable Care Act for people over age 50. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get tested at no cost to you. Talk with your insurance provider.

What do I ask the doctor?

Visiting the doctor can be stressful. It helps to have questions written down ahead of time. You may also want to ask a family member or close friend to come with you to take notes.

Print out these questions and take them to your appointment.

  • What is my risk for colorectal cancer?
  • When do you recommend that I start getting tested?
  • How often should I get tested?
  • What are the different types of screening tests for colorectal cancer?
  • Which screening test do you recommend? Why?
  • What’s involved in screening? How do I prepare?
  • Are there any dangers or side effects of screening?
  • How long will it take to get the results?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk of colorectal cancer?
Colorectal Cancer Screening: Questions for the doctor

Content last updated on:
September 30, 2014