Colorectal cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. for both men and women. With early detection through screening, colorectal cancers are preventable and treatable.

Who should be screened?

Anyone age 45 or older. In 2018, the American Cancer Society lowered the screening age recommendation from 50 to 45 because of a higher incidence rate in those aged 45-49 that wasn’t being caught early enough.

For those with a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of colorectal cancer or certain type of polyps, screening should be completed earlier.

Born after 1990? You may be at a higher risk.

However, the nation is currently facing an epidemic of young people with colon and rectal cancer that is presenting in people that have essentially no other medical problems. Based on actuarial data, if you were born after the year 1990, your risk for developing colon and rectal cancer is roughly six times what it would be for your parents over the course of your lifetime.

Health experts aren’t sure why exactly this is happening, but they do know it is not because of a genetic predisposition or environmental exposure.

In this group of younger people, the disease is often more deadly because most clinicians do not have the raised awareness of young people being diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The symptoms younger patients present with could be discounted because of their age.

Due to the prevalence of the disease in younger people and how the disease manifests itself, patients should be encouraged to talk to their health care provider about preventative screenings and physical exams to identify colorectal cancer.

What are the symptoms?

  • Having a hard time initiating a bowel movement
  • Changing the foods that you eat because some foods are not tolerated like they used to be
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Abdominal distension and bloating
  • Severe nausea
  • Blood when a person passes a bowel movement

What types of screenings are recommended?

Colorectal cancer screening is covered by most insurances, though some still may not cover it until age 50.

  1. Colonoscopy – A screening colonoscopy is the best way to detect pre-cancerous polyps and cancer. The procedure may be done by a colon and rectal surgeon, general surgeon or gastroenterologist. This should be completed every 10 years.
  2. Stool test – A take-at-home stool test including FIT or Stool DNA such as Cologuard ® which looks for blood in the stool or both blood and DNA changes suggestive of colorectal cancer. A positive take-at-home test must have a colonoscopy to complete the screening process. This can be completed with a primary care provider.

Talk to your primary care provider about colorectal screening. To schedule an appointment with a primary care provider at UofL Health – UofL Physicians, call 502-588-4343.

To schedule a screening colonoscopy, talk to your primary care provider or contact one of our UofL Health providers.

Colonoscopy screening locations

Downtown

UofL Physicians – Gastroenterology Associates
UofL Health – Rudd Heart and Lung Center
201 Abraham Flexner Way
Suite 901
Louisville, KY 40202
502-587-4515

UofL Physicians – General Surgery Associates
UofL Health – Rudd Heart and Lung Center
201 Abraham Flexner Way
Suite 902
Louisville, KY 40202
502-583-5948

GI Motility Clinic
UofL Health – Jewish Hospital Outpatient Care Center
225 Abraham Flexner Way
Suite 502
Louisville, KY 40202
502-588-7690

UofL Physicians – Digestive & Liver Health
UofL Health – Chestnut Street Outpatient Center
401 East Chestnut St. 
Suite 310
Louisville, KY 40202
502-588-4600

UofL Health – UofL Hospital – Endoscopy
530 S. Jackson St. 
Louisville, KY 40202
502-562-6560

South Louisville

UofL Physicians – General Surgery Associates
5129 Dixie Hwy. 
Suite 100
Louisville, KY 40216
502-583-5948

UofL Physicians – Louisville Surgical Associates
4402 Churchman Ave. 
Suite 202
Louisville, KY 40215
502-366-1090

Medical Center South

UofL Physicians – Gastroenterology Associates
UofL Health – Medical Center South
1905 West Hebron Ln. 
Suite 205
Shepherdsville, KY 40165
502-955-1355

Medical Center East

UofL Physicians – Gastroenterology Associates
UofL Health – Medical Center East
3920 Dutchmans Ln., Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40207
502-895-8970

UofL Physicians – General Surgery Associates
UofL Health – Medical Center East
3920 Dutchmans Ln. 
Suite 307
Louisville, KY 40207
502-583-5948

UofL Physicians – Louisville Surgical Associates
UofL Health – Medical Center East
3920 Dutchmans Ln. 
Suite 307
Louisville, KY 40207
502-366-1090

UofL Physicians – Colorectal Surgery Associates
UofL Health – Medical Center East
3920 Dutchmans Ln. 
Suite 315
Louisville, KY 40207
502-583-8005

Medical Center Northeast

UofL Physicians – General Surgery Associates
UofL Health – Medical Center Northeast
2401 Terra Crossing Blvd.
Suite 407
Louisville, KY 40245
502-583-5948

Shelbyville

UofL Physicians – Gastroenterology Associates
UofL Health – Shelbyville Hospital
727 Hospital Dr. 
Shelbyville, KY 40065
502-895-8970

UofL Physicians – Louisville Surgical Associates Shelbyville
30 Stonecrest Ct. 
Suite 104
Shelbyville, KY 40065
502-633-6062

Southern Indiana

UofL Physicians – Louisville Surgical Associates
2108 State St. 
New Albany, IN, 47150
502-366-1090

If you’re diagnosed with colorectal cancer and further treatment is needed, the multidisciplinary colorectal cancer team at UofL Health – Brown Cancer Center has a team of oncology experts ready to help. Call 502-562-HOPE (4673) or visit this page.

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