Colorectal cancer is preventable in many cases if diagnosed in its early stages.

There are various ways to test for whether there are early indications of colorectal cancer developing, these may include:

  • An examination of the intestine by a thin flexible tube with a light on the end known as an colonoscope
  • This examination is known as a colonoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy
  • A simple test done at home to determine whether there are traces of blood present in the stools (faeces) known
    as a Faecal Occult Blood Test
  • A CT (computerised tomography) scan - a high quality X-Ray
  • MRI scan (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) - an examination of the intestine by strong magnetic and radio waves. This test is only carried out when there is a possible or confirmed rectal cancer.

Colonoscopy examines the
entire length of the colon

Sigmoidoscopy examines only
the lower third

The Code Against Cancer
and the EU Council recommends faecal occult blood screening for
colorectal cancer in men
and women aged 50 -74.