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Rectal Cancer Screening

A screening is a test used to look for signs of disease, even if you don’t have any symptoms. Screenings can save your life because they allow doctors to find abnormal growths, called polyps, before they turn into cancer.

If cancer is found during a screening, the chances of it being cured are much higher when it’s caught early. That’s why the American Cancer Society recommends screening via colonoscopy beginning at the age of 45. For men and women who are at a higher risk of developing rectal cancer, your doctor may recommend you begin screening earlier.

Schedule Your Colonoscopy


You May Be Eligible For a No Cost Screening


How to Screen For Rectal Cancer

While there are multiple ways to screen for this cancer, a colonoscopy is the best way to find the disease early while it’s still treatable.

A colonoscopy can be used to screen or diagnose colorectal cancer, which refers to both colon and rectal cancer.

During a colonoscopy, your doctor uses a thin, flexible tube attached to a small camera. This is inserted into the rectum and colon, allowing your doctor to look for anything unusual, such as:

  • Abnormal growths called polyps
  • Bleeding
  • Inflammation
  • Tumors
  • Ulcers

Many people delay colonoscopies for fear of what to expect, including how to prepare for a colonoscopy. But, it’s not that bad thanks to advances over the past 10 years. You may be surprised to hear that:

  • You’ll be sedated during the procedure, so you won’t feel anything
  • The procedure is short, lasting only 15 to 20 minutes
  • The drink you have to consume the day before tastes better than it used to

Learn what to expect during a colonoscopy.

Who Should Be Screened

If you have an average risk: All men and women should be screened for both rectal cancer and colon cancer beginning at age 45, if they are considered to have an average risk. Being at an average risk means that you do not have:

  • A personal history of these types of cancers
  • A family history of these types of cancers
  • Confirmed hereditary condition that makes you more likely to develop colorectal cancer
  • Related health conditions, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis

People with an average risk should continue screenings every 10 years through the age of 75. According to the American Cancer Society, you and your doctor should determine whether or not to continue screening between the ages of 76 and 85. You do not need to be screened once you are over the age of 85.

If you have a high risk: You may be at a higher risk and need to be screened earlier than the age of 45 if you have:

  • A personal or family history of polyps or colorectal cancer
  • A medical history of inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • An inherited gene that makes you more likely to develop colorectal cancer

If you meet any of these criteria, talk to your doctor about when and how you should be screened.

You May Be Eligible For a Free Screening

If you are uninsured or underinsured, you may qualify for a free colorectal cancer screening in Baltimore if you are:

  • A Baltimore City, Baltimore County, or Anne Arundel County resident
  • Age 50 or older
  • Under 50 with symptoms or a family history of colon cancer
  • Living on a limited income

Call us today to at 410-350-8216 or 410-350-3444 (Spanish) or click 'Are You Eligible?' to find out if you qualify for a free rectal cancer screening in Baltimore.

Schedule Your Colonoscopy


No Cost Screening

Colon Cancer Screening Locations

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
Center for Digestive Disease 
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
Russell Morgan Building, Third Floor
5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21239

MedStar Harbor Hospital
Gruehn Building
3001 South Hanover St., Suite 216
Baltimore, MD 21225

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
Johnston Professional Building, Suite 530
3333 N. Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Health Bel Air Medical Campus
12 MedStar Blvd.
Bel Air, MD 21015

MedStar Endoscopy at Lutherville
1300 Bellona Avenue, Suite A
Lutherville, MD 21239

MedStar Medical Group at North Parkville Health Center
9512 Harford Road, Suite 201
Baltimore, Maryland 21234

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