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How do I know if I need a colonoscopy?

I am in my late 40s and I have not received a colonoscopy. Colon cancer does not run in my family and I haven’t had any problems with my digestion or any stomach pains. Do I need to get a colonoscopy? A friend has insisted that I get one.

Healthcare Providers (3)

Great question. The answer is that if you have no other symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain the screening guidelines set forth by the ASGE states that you should start having routine colonoscopic screening at the age of 50 unless you have relatives who had colon cancer, especially if they developed it before the age of 60. If you are an African American male; however, you should start getting screened at 45.

if you have no risk factors such as a family history, screening guidelines begin at 50.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States. The American Cancer Society endorses screening colonoscopy for prevention of colon cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that if there are no other indications or risk factors that colon screening begin at age 50. Please speak to your primary care doctor about the need for screening. Thanks.

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