The test: A doctor checks your rectum and colon for polyps with a flexible tube. Polyps are usually harmless, but some (adenomas) can become cancerous. Doctors can remove them during a colonoscopy. Who should have it: Those over age 50 need a baseline colon-cancer screening, says David Lieberman, M.D., chief of gastroenterology at Oregon Health

How to Screen for Colon Cancer Without Having a Colonoscopy

It's called a fecal immunochemical test (FIT). With FIT, there is no prepping, no anesthesia, no poking or prodding. All you have to do is take a stool sample at home and send it to a lab. The lab then detects traces of blood in the stool that would indicate a tumor or polyp. How

Have A Better Colonoscopy

Lying on your left side (compare with lying on your back) during a colonoscopy may increase the likelihood that doctors will detect precancerous polyps on your colon's right side. In one recent study, when 130 patients lay that way, docs found polyps in 43 percent more of them. No such increase was found when people

Instead Of Colonoscopy

There are screening options less invasive than colonoscopy, including a DNA test called Cologuard approved by the Food and Drug Administration last summer.  It requires taking a stool sample at home and sending it to a lab for analysis and may need to be repeated every three years. Options with proven track records include an

Tests To Review With Your Doctor

Some important health screenings can't be done by your GP. But if you show her this list, she can help you figure out which of the following you need this year and where to get them (as well as give you any referrals you may need.) Bone mineral density test If your over 50, ask

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