Colonoscopy Under 50 Years Old

Last Modified: March 16, 2011


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

I have several family members who have had colon cancer. I want to have screening (I am 35) but my insurance company doesn't want to pay for it. Any advice?


Carmen E. Guerra, M.D., M.S., Associate Professor of Medicine at Penn Medicine, responds:

Technically, screening colonoscopy are for patients who are over 50 years old and who have no symptoms. If you have several members who have had colorectal cancer, your doctor should request a diagnostic colonoscopy for a family history of colorectal cancer, not a screening colonoscopy.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series. See the full transcript of Advances in Colorectal Cancer Screening.