At the OSUCCC – James, colorectal research experts focus on studying colon cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure. Because colon cancer is one of the top three diagnosed cancers in the country, the OSUCCC – James consistently paves the way in learning more about its causes — leading to even more highly targeted prevention, care and treatment.

In fact, an incredible cancer-preventing initiative discovered at the OSUCCC – James and made possible with funding from Pelotonia (the nationally acclaimed cycling event that’s raised millions of dollars for cancer research at Ohio State), led the OSUCCC – James to create the Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative (OCCPI). 40+ hospitals across the state are collaborating with the OSUCCC – James on the initiative to help prevent colon cancer in Ohioans by screening newly diagnosed patients for Lynch syndrome, the most diagnosed inherited form of colorectal cancer. Doing so can actually prevent colon cancer in family members by identifying pre-cancerous conditions and removing them before cancer can even occur.

Other colon cancer prevention measures can be taken, too. For example, patients who have colorectal polyps (growths of tissue that develop in the lining of a cavity) should talk with their doctor about having them removed.

Additionally, changing eating habits — like cutting down on saturated fats and increasing fiber intake — can also reduce colon cancer risk.

To find out more about prevention, screenings or the Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative (OCCPI), call the James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

Screening for Colon Cancer

Cancer screenings can help find colon cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment are greatest. These tests are usually done when the patient is healthy and has no specific symptoms.

Adults who are not at high risk for colon cancer should begin having screening exams at age 50. People who are at higher risk because of a personal or family history of colon or rectal cancer, colorectal polyps or inflammatory bowel disease should be screened before they turn 50.

Family members of newly diagnosed colon cancer patients should also be screened for Lynch syndrome, a gene mutation researched at the OSUCCC – James, the most diagnosed inherited form of colorectal cancer. This screening can actually prevent colon cancer in those family members by identifying precancerous conditions and removing them before cancer can ever occur.

To find out more about prevention, screenings or the Ohio Colorectal Cancer Prevention Initiative (OCCPI), call the James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066.

Colon Cancer Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that increases your risk of getting cancer. Risk factors for colon cancer include:

  • Being more than 50 years old
  • A history of colon or rectal cancer
  • A history of colorectal polyps
  • Previous Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Previous cancer in the ovary, breast or endometrium
  • Colon or rectal cancer in a close family relative (parent, brother, sister or child)
  • Having a hereditary condition such as Lynch syndrome or familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP)
  • Family history of rare hereditary conditions such as Turcot syndrome, MUTYH-associated polyposis or Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
  • Being of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Being overweight and having type 2 diabetes
  • Consistently eating a diet high in red and processed meats
  • History of smoking
  • History of heavy use of alcohol

(Source: National Cancer Institute)

Having risk factors does not necessarily mean you have colon cancer. But if you have risk factors, you should discuss them with your doctor.

If you are concerned about risk factors, have been diagnosed with colon cancer, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a colon cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment. 

Screening Tests for Colon Cancer

Cancer screening exams can help find colon cancer at its earliest stage, when the chances for successful treatment, optimal outcomes and fewer side effects are greatest. These tests are usually done when a patient is healthy and has no specific symptoms.

Not only are expert cancer researchers at the OSUCCC – James continually working to detect and diagnose colon cancer early, but they are also developing additional tests to detect and diagnose cancer even earlier, leading to improved outcomes, faster responses and fewer side effects.

At the OSUCCC – James, colon cancer screening for patients with no symptoms and for patients with risk factors can include:

Fecal Occult Blood Test

A stool sample is analyzed for blood that can be seen only with a microscope.

Fecal Immunochemical Test

This newer test can identify blood in stool using a special chemical that reacts to a protein in red blood cells. The exam can be completed without the dietary restrictions usually required for a fecal occult blood test.

Barium Enema

A radiologist takes a series of X-ray images of the lower digestive tract after placing a special barium-infused liquid into the rectum to highlight the lining of the intestine.

Colonoscopy

Colonoscopy is the most reliable and preferred screening method for identifying abnormal precancerous growths, called polyps. Using a tube that is slightly longer than a sigmoidoscope, a specially trained doctor examines the inside of the colon and rectum to identify polyps or other abnormal tissue and remove polyps to prevent future cancer and possibly for biopsy. Patients must prepare for colonoscopies for a day to several days in advance to make sure that their colons are clear for the exam.

Virtual Colonoscopy

Also called CT colonoscopy, this exam uses a special scanner that rotates around the patient to take X-ray images of the colon and rectum to detect polyps or signs of cancer. Preparation for this test is similar to that for a colonoscopy.

Sigmoidoscopy

A doctor analyzes the colon and rectum using a thin, flexible tube with a lighted end called a sigmoidoscope. A camera on the end of the scope can display images of the inside of the colon, and a special tool on the scope can assist in polyp or tissue removal.

Genetic Tests

Tissue samples can be analyzed to look for changes in genes that indicate colorectal cancer or patients with increased risk for colon cancer.


If you’ve been diagnosed with colon cancer, would like a second opinion or would like to speak with a colon cancer specialist, please call The James Line at 800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066 to make an appointment.

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The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute

460 West 10th Avenue

Columbus, Ohio 43210

800-293-5066 or 614-293-5066

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