Joplin, MO- It's the one test that can both screen for colon cancer and tackle potential problems at the same time. And most patients should consider scheduling a colonoscopy when they turn 50. Freeman Gastroenterologist Dr. Saadullah Khan said, "Preferably would be at 50 but it can be done thereafter and it's not every year."
Khan says that if results come back clean and you have no other risk factors, you won't need a repeat for another 10 years. "If they're found to have a particular kind of polyps, generally depending on the pathology of the polyp and the size of the polyp and the number of polyps, the next colonoscopy is generally 3 - 5 years.
There are other options - other tests that can look for problems. But there is an advantage to the colonoscopy, if there are issues. "If CT colongraphy and a polyp is found then again a colonoscopy has to be done. So therefore I would call this a gold standard."