Why You Shouldn't Get a Colonoscopy

Reviewed on 8/12/2021

The American Cancer Society recommends healthy adults with no risk factors start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 up to age 75. Screening between ages 76 through 85 is based on a person's preferences, life expectancy, overall health, and prior screening history. A colonoscopy is not necessary more than once every 5 to 10 years in people with a low risk of developing colorectal cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends healthy adults with no risk factors start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 up to age 75. Screening between ages 76 through 85 is based on a person’s preferences, life expectancy, overall health, and prior screening history. A colonoscopy is not necessary more than once every 5 to 10 years in people with a low risk of developing colorectal cancer.

A colonoscopy is both a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure used to examine and treat the rectum, colon, and a portion of the terminal ileum. The procedure is performed with a colonoscope, a flexible and steerable instrument used to evaluate the entire colon (large intestine). 

A colonoscopy is routinely used to screen for colon and rectal cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends healthy adults with no risk factors start screening for colorectal cancer at age 45 (the previous recommendation was 50 years).   

When Do You Need a Colonoscopy?

  • Adults in good health and with a life expectancy of more than 10 years should continue regular colorectal cancer screening every 10 years through the age of 75. 
  • It is not necessary to get a colonoscopy more than once every 5 to 10 years in people who have a low risk of developing colorectal cancer.  
  • After that, screening between ages 76 through 85 is based on a person’s preferences, life expectancy, overall health, and prior screening history.
  • People 85 years and older should no longer get a colonoscopy for colorectal cancer screening.

What Is a Colonoscopy Used For?

The colonoscopy procedure is used to diagnose and treat many conditions of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

A colonoscopy can be used to provide therapy and treatment such as: 

  • Removal of polyps 
  • Control of bleeding

Colonoscopies are also used to diagnose gastrointestinal (GI) disorders such as: 

Colonoscopy is also used to help determine the cause of: 

What Are Risk Factors for Colorectal Cancer?

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include:

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What are risk factors for developing colon cancer? See Answer

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Reviewed on 8/12/2021
References
https://www.uptodate.com/contents/overview-of-colonoscopy-in-adults?search=How%20Painful%20Is%20a%20Colonoscopy%3F&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://gi.org/topics/colonoscopy/

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/colonoscopy

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/colon-rectal-cancer/detection-diagnosis-staging/acs-recommendations.html

https://choosingwiselycanada.org/colonoscopy/