In this video, Dr. Echavarria and Dr. Gelrud explain who should get a colonoscopy, and when. Routine screening colonoscopy should begin at age 50 in men and women who have normal risk for colon cancer and no symptoms. Colonoscopy should be started earlier if you have symptoms or family history of colon cancer, precancerous polyps, or inflammatory bowel disease. Colonoscopy is also used for other diseases that affect the overall health of the bowel, such as inflammatory bowel disease, diverticulitis, and ulcers. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate time for you to have a colonoscopy. Be sure to discuss any symptoms, family history of colon cancer, or other bowel diseases with your doctor. With this information your doctor can determine if you need to get a colonoscopy earlier, more frequently, or if there are any genetic predispositions that put you at higher risk.
This educational activity has been developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc. This activity is endorsed by the Colon Cancer Coalition.
This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Boston Scientific and Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
This website is part of the Animated Patient™ series developed by Mechanisms in Medicine Inc., to provide highly visual formats of learning for patients to improve their understanding, make informed decisions, and partner with their health care professionals for optimal outcomes.