Do women need to get colonoscopies?

This question was asked in Irvine, California on 04/17/2012.
I've heard that men must get colonoscopies every 10 years to help prevent colon cancer. However, colon cancer isn't prevalent in women. So do women need to get colonoscopies just like men do?

Doctors Answers (2)

David Pound, M.D.
Answered on: 4/18/2012

Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. The American Cancer society recommends that men and women be screened for colon cancer at age 50. This should be done at an earlier age for people with risk factors or symptoms. Please speak to your primary care doctor about the need for screening.

David Myles Nolan
Answered on: 12/16/2011

Yes! Women are at just as high a risk to develop colon cancer as men, and colonoscopies starting at the age of 50 in the absence of a family history is recommended.