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Routine colorectal cancer screening is an important part of early detection because many people have no symptoms. The most widely recommended preventive test to screen for colorectal cancer is a colonoscopy. For this procedure, an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube with a small video camera, is used to examine the internal lining of the rectum and colon (large intestine).

A colonoscopy can find colorectal growths, or polyps, so they can be removed before they become cancerous. For those at average risk for colorectal cancer, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years.

Colonoscopy may also be recommended to evaluate for symptoms and treat some problems in the colon or rectum.

Screening colonoscopies are performed at most Valley Health hospitals and the Endoscopy Center at Winchester Medical Center. Several Valley Health specialists including gastroenterologists and general surgeons perform colonoscopies.

If you are age 45 or older, discuss your personal colorectal cancer prevention strategy with your primary care provider. Anyone of any age who is experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer should consult their primary care provider.

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