A colonoscopy is not the only way to detect colorectal cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute. Colorectal cancer screenings can be performed through high-sensitivity fecal occult blood tests, or FOBT, and sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. Ocassionally, Cologuard, virtual colonoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, or single-specimen guaiac FOBT tests are ordered.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that people with an average risk of colorectal cancer begin receiving regular screenings at age 50. Increased risk from family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, inflammatory bowel disease, and some inherited conditions can be reason for higher precautions. These individuals should begin regular screenings before age 50 and screen more often.