Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death among American men and woman. Currently available screening and surveillance techniques are effective in detecting early-stage colorectal cancer and its premalignant precursor lesion, the adenomatous polyp (adenoma). Removal of adenomas by colonoscopic polypectomy significantly reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer. Appropriate screening and surveillance recommendations should be based on the individual's colorectal cancer risk stratification. High-risk groups, such as patients with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) and familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), should be offered genetic counseling and specialized screening recommendations for colorectal and associated extracolonic malignancies.