What are the screening recommendations for colon cancer?

Dr. Kenneth Reed discusses screening recommendations for colon cancer. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What are the screening recommendations for colon cancer?

The screening recommendations for colon cancer are anyone that's 50 years of age and does not have a family history of colon cancer should have a colonoscopy. If you have a family history of colon cancer, then it is colonoscopy ten years before your family member had developed colon cancer, or at age 40: whichever one comes first.


Generally, it’s recommended that you be screened for colon cancer beginning at age 50, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You should have repeat screenings at regular intervals decided on by you and your doctor. Usually, screenings are repeated every 10 years.

Depending on your family and personal history, you might need to start being screened before you turn 50.

Getting tested earlier – even as early as age 40 – can depend on if you:

  • Have had or a close relative has had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
  • Have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Have a genetic syndrome, such as familial adenomatous polyposis or Lynch syndrome

For more information about screening recommendations for colon cancer, talk with your doctor.

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