Colorectal Cancer & Screenings

Colorectal cancer (excluding skin cancers) is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.

Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 26 for women. In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in both men and women, and it's the second most common cause of cancer deaths when numbers for men and women are combined. It is expected to cause about 52,550 deaths during 2023. Colorectal cancer often forms from polyps found within the colon and can be removed before developing into cancer.

Screening can often find colorectal cancer early, when it's small, hasn't spread, and might be easier to treat. When colorectal cancer is located at an early stage before it has spread, the 5-year relative survival rate is about 90%. But only 4 out of 10 colorectal cancers are found at this early stage. Survival rates are lower when cancer has spread outside the colon or rectum.

African Americans have the highest colorectal cancer rates of all ethnic groups in the United States, with mortality roughly 20 percent higher in African Americans than in White Americans. In addition, colorectal cancer occurs at a younger age, and there is a higher frequency in African Americans under 50.

Multiple organizations, including the American Cancer Society (ACS), U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), and the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), recommend that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45.

For screening, people are considered to be at average risk if they do not have the following:

  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps
  • A family history of colorectal cancer
  • A personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease)
  • A confirmed or suspected hereditary colorectal cancer syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer or HNPCC)
  • A personal history of getting radiation to the abdomen (belly) or pelvic area to treat a prior cancer


We provide colonoscopies for colorectal cancer screening for new and established patients in our state-of-the-art GI & Endoscopy Lab.

If you are a patient interested in scheduling a screening or follow-up colonoscopy, please call 312.413.7676 and leave a confidential voicemail message with your name, date of birth, and telephone number. We will contact you within five business days to schedule your appointment.

If you are a healthcare provider outside the UI Health system who wants to refer a patient for screening colonoscopy, please download the referral form (docx) and fax to our scheduling department at 312.413.3798. Our staff will contact your patient and schedule a screening colonoscopy appointment.  

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