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Who should get checked?

It is recommended that most men and women age 50–74 do a home screening test (stool test) every 2 years.

The home screening test is for people who have no symptoms of colon cancer. You can feel well and not know that you have polyps or colon cancer in the early stages.

You do not need to do the test now if you have:

  • done a home screening test in the past 2 years, or

  • had a colonoscopy in the past 5 years.

Do not do the test if you have:

  • Rectal bleeding or any sign of blood after bowel movements.

  • Unexplained weight loss, tiredness, exhaustion, abdominal pain or cramping.

  • Persistent change in bowel habits such as:

    • Diarrhea or constipation for more than a few weeks.
    • Stools that are consistently more narrow than usual.
    • The feeling that you are not completely emptying your bowel.

These may be symptoms of colon cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor or nurse immediately as you may need other tests.

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