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We take a proactive approach to cancer screening — especially for high-risk patients — with the goal of catching the disease at an earlier, more treatable stage. An accurate diagnosis is the first step toward treating colorectal cancer.
Physicians at the University of Chicago Medicine use a variety of tools and techniques to confirm or rule out the presence of a colorectal malignancy:
Which Colorectal Cancer Screening Test Is Right for You?
Download our shared decision-making guide (PDF) that can help you work with your healthcare team to decide on the best colorectal cancer test for you. This guide is for adults who are 50 years of age and older who are at average risk for colorectal cancer and do not have a personal or family history of colon cancer or polyps.
After a colorectal cancer diagnosis is confirmed, it's important to determine the extent and size of the cancerous area. This process, known as staging, can help determine the best course of treatment. Some tools used for staging colorectal cancer include:
The experts in the UChicago Medicine comprehensive cancer risk clinic provide personalized risk assessment – including genetic testing and counseling — for patients and families who are at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. We work with individuals who have been diagnosed with certain gastrointestinal conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease and polyps, as well as families who have any cancer predisposition syndromes. Learn more about our Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic.
Are you scheduled for a colonoscopy with a UChicago Medicine expert? Prior to your procedure, our team will give you instructions for how to prepare. For your convenience, you can also view these instructions online.Colonoscopy Preparation Instructions
Gastroenterologist Karen Kim, MD, comments on the new guidelines for colorectal cancer screening that lower the age at which adults at average risk should start screening from 50 to 45.Learn More About the New Screening Guidelines
Scientist Gregory Karczmar, PhD, has dedicated much of his career to developing better and more affordable screening methods for early detection of cancer. Still, he never imagined a screening test would lead to his own diagnosis of colorectal cancer.Read Greg's story
After a routine colonoscopy, Mark McCormick was told he needed to seek the help of an expert to remove two large polyps in his colon. Interventional endoscopist Uzma Siddiqui, MD, removed the polyps using a minimally invasive procedure.Read McCormick's Story
Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers of all, but it usually presents no symptoms at all, which is why screening is so important.