Everyone ages 45 to 75 years needs to get screened (tested) regularly for colorectal cancer. If you’re worried about a family member or friend who has put off getting screened, use these tips to start a conversation.

Start by letting them know you care.

Try saying:

  • “I want you to live a long and healthy life.”
  • “I want you to get tested so you don’t have to worry about colorectal cancer.”

Explain the reasons for getting screened.

You can say:

  • “Colorectal cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer, and your risk increases as you get older.”
  • “If the doctor finds a growth in your colon during the test, they can remove it before it even turns into cancer.”
  • “If you do have colorectal cancer, getting tested regularly can help you find out early — when it may be easier to treat.”

Offer support.

You can say:

  • “What part of the test are you most worried about?”
  • “How can I make it easier for you to get tested?”
  • “Some parts of the test might make you uncomfortable, but it’ll be over very quickly.”

Here are some ways to support a loved one:

  • Encourage your family member or friend to learn about the different types of screening tests that check for colorectal cancer and decide which test they might prefer
  • If your loved one decides to get a screening test, help make the appointment or offer to drive them 
  • Share this list of questions for the doctor to help your loved one get ready for their appointment
  • If you’re age 45 to 75 years, set an example — get screened for colorectal cancer and share your experience with your loved one