Over the last decade, colon cancer rates have dropped dramatically. This comes with a corresponding increase in colonoscopies, especially among people between 50 and 75 years old. Medicare covers colonoscopies once every 10 years for beneficiaries at average risk.
In 2000, only 19 percent of people in that age range had had their colonoscopies; by 2010, that number was 55 percent. Between 2001 and 2010, the rate of colon cancer dropped by 3.4 percent per year. A possible explanation is that colonoscopies that detect and remove precancerous polyps are able to prevent the development of this potentially fatal disease.