A colonoscopy is a highly effective screening tool for colon cancer. How often you should receive one depends on your personal risk factors.
If you have an average risk of colon cancer, you should get a colonoscopy screening every 10 years starting at age 50. Polyps, or growths that are sometimes precancerous, take about 10 years to develop into cancer, so that schedule is safe for most people. Dr. Abitbol may recommend you undergo colonoscopies starting at a younger age and more often if you have:
- A personal history of colon cancer or polyps
- Inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease
- A family history of colon cancer or polyps
A colonoscopy can both detect colon cancer early and prevent it from developing. If Dr. Abitbol discovers any polyps, he removes them during the procedure and performs a biopsy to determine if they’re precancerous, which is impossible to tell while the polyps are inside the body.