Colon screening (colonoscopy) saves lives
! It is recommended that adults over the age of 45 have a colonoscopy every 10 years to check for growths in the colon or rectum that could be cancerous or precancerous.
- If you are of average risk, screenings are recommended every ten years beginning at age 45.
- You should be screened before age 45 if you have symptoms such as abdominal or rectal pain, bleeding, change in bowel habits, or a family history of colon or rectal cancer or polyps.
- If you have a family history of colon cancer, you should be screened 10 years earlier than the age of the family member when he or she was diagnosed, or at age 40, whichever is younger.
- If you have a personal history of colon polyps, you should have a colonoscopy every three to five years.
Most people are referred for a colonoscopy by their physicians as part of their general screening regimes. However, healthy individuals can schedule their colonoscopy directly without having a preliminary appointment.
If you meet any of the criteria below, please check with your physician to review your health before scheduling your colonoscopy:
- Active coronary artery disease or heart attack within the past 12 months.
- Unstable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, or on home oxygen.
- Stroke within the past 6 months.
- Unstable diabetes.
- Defibrillator or pacemaker placement within the past 6 months.
- 75 years old or older.
- Coumadin, Plavix, Pradaxa, Ticlid, or Xarelto use.
- Weight is 300 pounds or greater.
- Hospitalization within the past 6 months for congestive heart failure, asthma or COPD.