Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
How often do you recommend having a colonoscopy? I previously lived in NJ and the doctor there recommended every two years. I now live in NC and the doctor recommends every 5 years.
Jenia Jenab-Wolcott, MD, PhD, Gastroenterologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
Recommendations for colon cancer screening depend on an individual’s risk of developing colorectal cancer (CRC). Several factors, including family history, personal history, and environmental factors can increase an individual's risk of developing colorectal cancer.
A few questions can determine if an individual is at increased risk for CRC. These include:
Based on the answers provided to above questions then your health care provider can determine the age when you should begin screening, the frequency of screening, and the screening tests that are most appropriate.
Although the national guidelines differ slightly, the following are general recommendations that are agreed upon by most experts:
For average risk individual: That is a person with no personal history of adenoma or CRC, no history of IBD, no family history of CRC.
Increased risk based on personal history of IBD:
Increased risk based on positive family history: (Based on National Comprehensive Cancer Network, NCCN, recommendations)
This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, Colorectal cancer Webchat. View the entire transcript here.
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