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Don’t delay. Schedule a screening with your doctor today. Regular preventive screenings are covered by Florida Blue plans. Log in at Find a Doctor and More or call 800-352-2583 to learn more about your benefits.

What is colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is a form of cancer that can grow uncontrollably in your colon or rectum. Because you can’t directly see your colon or rectum, screenings are incredibly important and early treatment of colorectal cancer can lead to a 90 percent survival rate after five years.1 The recommended age to begin your screening is age 45.

What are some of the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

  • Change in bowel movements
  • Rectal bleeding w/ bright red blood
  • Blood in stool, making it look dark brown or black
  • Cramping or abdominal pain
  • Unintended weight loss

What are the risk factors of colorectal cancer2?

  • Overweight or obese
  • Family History of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • Not physically active
  • Lynch Syndrome
  • Diets high in red meat or processed meat
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Smoking
  • African American, if residing in the US
  • Extensive alcohol use
  • Jews of Eastern European descent
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

What are some tips to help prepare for a colonoscopy?

You’ve made the important decision to get a colonoscopy. Now what? Preparing for the screening can seem overwhelming. Be sure to follow your physician’s recommendations* for colonoscopy prep. Here are some tips that may help with the prep phase.

  1. Find low-fiber foods you enjoy and eat those 3-5 days before prep day.
    • Makes the “clean-out” phase more comfortable.
  2. Try to stay home during the prep period.
  3. Drink the laxative cold and break it up.
    • You don’t have to drink the entire solution all at once.
    • You can break it up into chunks, 8oz every 15 minutes.
    • Use a straw.
    • Flavor the laxative with Gatorade or Crystal Light.
  4. Use wet wipes to aid in cleanup.
  5. Have a book or phone charger near the bathroom.
  6. On the day prior to the colonoscopy, stick to a “liquid” diet.
    • Avoid liquids with colored dyes specifically red, purple, blue, and orange.
    • Popsicles and gummy bears are fun “solid” treats, and again avoid dyes.
  7. Drink electrolytes to help rehydrate.


* Always follow the instructions given by your own physician. If you have questions about preparing for your colonoscopy, consult your physician. 

What are the colorectal cancer screening options?


Pros: Cons:
  • Gold standard of screening
  • Complete this at an outpatient or specialists’ facility
  • Can remove precancerous cells
  • Only needs to be completed once every 10 years, or more, if your doctor considers you high risk
  • Requires bowel prep and fasting
  • Requires sedation
  • May need to coordinate a ride home
  • May need to miss a day of work


Fit Kit:

Pros: Cons:
  • Complete this at home per your doctor’s recommendation
  • Inexpensive
  • It takes less than five minutes to collect the sample
  • No preparation needed
  • No sedation necessary
  • No fasting or special diet required
  • May require a follow-up colonoscopy
  • Needs to be done every year
  • Can have false-positives or miss polyps and some cancers


FOBT Test:

Pros: Cons:
  • Complete once a year
  • Inexpensive
  • No sedation necessary


Flexible Sigmoidoscopy:

Pros: Cons:
  • No sedation necessary
  • Quicker than a colonoscopy
  • Requires bowel prep and fasting
  • Not as widely used as a colonoscopy
  • Not as accurate as a colonoscopy
  • May require a follow-up colonoscopy
  • Can’t remove all polyps





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