Do I have to get a second colonoscopy after 10 years if the first is normal?

This question was asked in San Francisco, California on 04/19/2012.
What evidence is there that a repeat colonoscopy ten years after a completely normal one is of value? I had a normal - no polyps - colonoscopy at age 60. I am now 70 with three negative fecal occult blood tests and no family history. Is there any evidence whatsoever that it is worth undergoing a second colonoscopy screening after ten years? Or is it simply a recommendation based on tradition?

Doctors Answers (1)

Harsha Vittal, M.D.
Answered on: 4/20/2012

Time for a polyp to turn into cancer is 5 to 10 years. That is the reason for a repeat colonoscopy after 10 years.