beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Who Needs A Colonoscopy?

From the gastroenterology department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

  • Men and women at average risk of colon cancer should get a colonoscopy at age 50 and then, if no polyps are found, every 10 years after that.

  • African American men and women should receive an initial colonoscopy at age 45. * This is because their risk of the disease is higher.

  • Those who have an increased risk of colon cancer may need earlier or more frequent colonoscopies. Talk to your doctor about when you should schedule your screening if you:
  • There are very few symptoms of colorectal cancer. But if you notice any significant change in bowel habits, including blood in your stool, talk to your doctor immediately.

*Not all insurance plans pay for earlier screening in this group. Check with your plan for details.

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. or advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.

Posted September 2010

Contact Information

Call 1-800-667-5356. Representatives are available to assist you live 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Contact Information

Division of Gastroenterology
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconesss Medical Center
Shapiro Clinical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215