At what age should you get a colonoscopy and why?

Beginning at the age of 50, both men and women should receive a colonoscopy to screen for polyps and colon cancer. Colon and rectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and it most often occurs in people over the age of 50.   When colon cancer is found early it can be treated and often cured, however it is usually not found early and therefore is the second leading course of cancer deaths in the United States. A colonoscopy screening can detect early colon cancer and is recommended even if you have no symptoms and no family history of colon cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that you have a screening colonoscopy beginning at age 50 and if you have a family history of colon cancer you may need to be screened earlier starting at the age of 40. Please feel free to talk to your primary health care provider about colonoscopies and other preventative screenings at your next appointment.


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