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How often should you have a colonoscopy?

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Quick Answer

Individuals with an average risk for colon cancer should have a colonoscopy beginning at age 50 and repeat it every 10 years, states the American Cancer Society. Individuals with a higher risk due to a personal history of colon polyps or family history of colon cancer need more frequent exams.

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How often should you have a colonoscopy?
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Full Answer

Individuals who have had colon polyps removed that are less than 1 centimeter in size need a repeat colonoscopy within five to 10 years, explains the American Cancer Society. If a large polyp, greater than 1 centimeter, was present in a previous procedure, the recommendation is to have a repeat exam in three years. Individuals who have had multiple polyps removed should also have a repeat colonoscopy within three years. Doctors recommend that individuals with a family history of colon cancer begin colon cancer screening with a colonoscopy at age 40, with repeat exams every five years.

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