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Should I get a colonoscopy if I have a family history of colon cancer?

If you have a family history of adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer, you should talk with your doctor about the possible need to begin screening before age 50. You might start at age 40, or 10 years before the youngest case in the immediate family, whichever is earlier. If you have had adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer, it's important to tell your close relatives so that they can pass along that information to their doctors and start screening at the right age.
William Wien
William Wien on behalf of MDLIVE
Family Medicine
Current recommendations would be to begin asymptomatic screening by age 40, and to repeat colonoscopy at least every 5 years. The purpose of this is to find and remove colon and rectal polyps before they can grow and degenerate into cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.