Colon Cancer Screening

A colonoscopy is used to screen for col­orec­tal can­cer even before there are symp­toms. Begin­ning at age 50, men and women should have a com­plete colonoscopy every 10 years or as indi­cat­ed by your physi­cian based on colonoscopy results.

Impor­tant: You may need to begin peri­od­ic screen­ing colonoscopy ear­li­er than age 50 years if you have a per­son­al or fam­i­ly his­to­ry of col­orec­tal can­cer, polyps or long-stand­ing ulcer­a­tive colitis.

Col­orec­tal can­cer is high­ly pre­ventable. Colonoscopy may detect polyps (small growths on the lin­ing of the colon). Removal of these polyps (by biop­sy or snare polypec­to­my) results in a major reduc­tion in the like­li­hood of devel­op­ing col­orec­tal can­cer in the future.