What age should you stop getting colonoscopies at?

This question was asked in Norcross, Georgia on 05/04/2012.
Should a person over 85 with no health problems have a colonoscopy? What age should you stop getting colonoscopies at?

Doctors Answers (3)

David Pound, M.D.
Answered on: 5/8/2012 1

There is no age that colonoscopies are automatically?stopped at. The procedure schedule is dictated by your medical conditions. The gastroenterologist will recommend when the next procedure is due based on the findings from the last colon.

Dale Prokupek, M.D.
Answered on: 5/7/2012 9

That is an excellent question. Most of the time colonoscopies are performed to screen for colon cancer. Colon cancer arises from colon polyps most of the time. If you get a colonoscopy and have any polyps removed, you eliminate the chance of getting colon cancer. If you were to get colon cancer (because you did not get screened) the treatment requires surgery and often times chemotherapy. If you are 85 years old, you may not tolerate this very well. Additionally, if you are 85 and in poor health you would likely die of another disease before you died of colon cancer. It is for this reason that it may not be of benefit to have a screening colonoscopy. However, if you are 85 years old and in great health I would STRONGLY recommend continuing your screening colonoscopies. I hope this helps.

Harsha Vittal, M.D.
Answered on: 5/7/2012 1

If you are over 75 and have had normal colonoscopies in the past, the guidelines recommend to stop doing them.