Can colorectal cancer be prevented by getting a colonoscopy?

This question was asked in Irvine, California on 12/16/2011.
Colon cancer runs in my family. I am still relatively young as I am in my late forties. But I want to take as many precautionary measures as possible to ensure that I am not afflicted with colorectal cancer as well. Will simply getting a colonoscopy eliminate my risk of getting cancer? Are there other measures that I should take?

Doctors Answers (1)

David Myles Nolan
Answered on: 12/16/2011

Great question! Colonoscopies can help to remove pre-malignant polyps or detect early cancers. They do not prevent development of polyps in anyone; however, those with higher risk for developing colon cancer do significantly benefit from having colonoscopies early and often to remove any polyps that have formed before they become cancerous.