Q:

How often should someone have a colonoscopy?

A:

Quick Answer

For most people, the American Cancer Society recommends a colonoscopy at age 50 and every 10 years thereafter if the results are normal. If there are polyps or other abnormal findings, the interval for repeat testing is shorter.

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Full Answer

If an individual has a higher risk for colon cancer, such as inflammatory bowel disease or a strong family history of colon cancer, testing may begin before age 50. The ACS recommends that people who have had small adenomas removed have a repeat colonoscopy at either a five- or 10-year intervals depending on personal and family medical history. If an individual had three to 10 adenomas removed, or if there was one large polyp removed, then the ACS recommends a repeat colonoscopy at three-year intervals.

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