It is estimated that at least 50%-60% of colorectal cancer deaths could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. Colorectal cancer screening can find and remove precancerous polyps and early-stage cancer, thereby either preventing the development of cancer or detecting the disease at an early, more treatable stage. Precancerous polyps or growths can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops.

Some studies suggest that people may reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer by increasing physical activity, eating fruits and vegetables, limiting alcohol consumption, and avoiding tobacco.