Screening for Colorectal Cancer

Last update: October 2, 2020

The American Cancer Society strongly recommends colorectal cancer screening once every year for adults ages 50 to 75. Two recommended screening methods are a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and a high-sensitivity guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (HSgFOBT).

The FIT may be an easier option for your patients, as it:

  • Requires only one stool sample and has no dietary or medication restrictions

The HSgFOBT may be less convenient, as it:

  • Requires multiple stool samples, avoidance of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for seven days, avoidance of vitamin C and has food restrictions for 72 hours prior to testing. Foods to avoid before the test include beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, grapefruit, horseradish, mushrooms, radishes, red meat and turnips.

For more information and resources on colorectal cancer, visit