I. Physician-Directed Questions Regarding Screening for Colorectal Cancer
Screening for colorectal cancer is recommended for men and women beginning at age 50. Some of the screening tests designed to help diagnose colorectal cancer include: colonoscopy, fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and flexible sigmoidoscopy. The benefits and risks of these screening methods vary. Discuss with your doctor which test is best for you. Since every patient has a unique medical history, it is essential to talk with their doctor about their personal risk factors and/or experience with colorectal cancer. By talking regularly and openly with the doctor, one can take an active role in their care.
Appearing below is a list of questions to ask the doctor about screening for colorectal cancer. Mark the questions you would like answered, and take them with you to the next medical appointment.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor About Colorectal Cancer Screening
- Based on my family and medical history, do I have any of the risk factors that would make me likely to develop colorectal cancer?
- Are my children or other relatives at higher risk for colorectal cancer?
- If I have any of the risk factors, are there any changes I can make to place me at less risk?
- What are the signs and symptoms that I should be aware of?
- Should I have any of the tests that would screen me for colorectal cancer?
- If so, what screening test(s) do you recommend for me?
- How do I prepare for these tests? Do I need to change my diet or my usual medication schedule?
- What is involved in the test? Will it be uncomfortable or painful? Is there any risk involved?
- When and from whom will I obtain my results?
- If I am to have a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy, who will do the exam?
- Will I require someone with me on the day of the exam?
- How often will I be requiring a colonoscopy?
To access additional information on the screening of colorectal cancer, please visit the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada’s website at www.colorectal-cancer.ca/en/screening/screening-tests/