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.

[CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, March/April 2014]

Get The Graedons' Favorite Home Remedies Health Guide for FREE

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

  1. Joe
    Reply

    I should have one every 5 years. The last one, though, made me do a rethink.
    I don’t like to you any medication to relax or anesthetize. That last turn in my colon is very tough and takes patience on the part of the physician. The last time, the physician said to the nurse, “Give him something.” She said, “He does not want anything.” Then he got a call from his wife. He was on his cell phone for just a short while. After his phone call that last turn went well.
    I learned from that: it was the physician that needed to relax, not me.
    Maybe if I could get to meet the physician before the procedure to see if we are a match, I would not have any doubts. But like anesthesiologists and anesthetists, we don’t know who that will be until the procedure is about to start.

  2. DS
    Reply

    I have had several but it seemed that the doctor was doing them awfully fast and I began to worry that “experienced” doctors as not as careful and rush through them, and injuries result. I think I’d rather have the new DNA test. Besides, I hate the prep. That cannot be good for my gut.

  3. Andy
    Reply

    Anybody mess’n around with me below my belt line better be blond, hazel eye’d, and married to me….

  4. GS
    Reply

    I just had my first at 55. Thought I would never have another. Less than 1 month later had to have second to remove a 30 mm wide flat polyp. 6 polyps in all. Luck for me, no signs of cancer.
    Just go do it!

  5. Merle K.
    Reply

    My father died from a colonoscopy at age 86. We think he had a microperforation, because he doubled over in pain less than 2 days later, and was rushed to an ER, with sepsis. He died 3 weeks later.
    Several doctors I’ve spoken to since questioned the wisdom of doing colonoscopies on people of that age because of the fragility of their tissues. I asked one doctor I consulted with for my first colonoscopy about his complication rate, his response was startling: he said he hadn’t had any, “so I guess I’m due”.
    While that must’ve been his way of letting me know he didn’t want to do mine, I certainly didn’t want him to do it either, and it took another three years for me to get up my courage to have one. Now, I know I should have another one, but I’m not any more eager than I was before.

  6. DB
    Reply

    My physician says that a yearly fecal blood test is as good as colonoscopies as a cancer screen. Also much cheaper, less invasive & lower risk.

  7. Kahleen
    Reply

    Good information…

  8. Henry L.
    Reply

    Obviously, colonoscopies are a valuable diagnostic/prevention tool! So why are persons of age 80 or over not allowed to have the procedure without a doctor’s specific order based upon one’s probably HAVING colon cancer?

  9. Noah V.
    Reply

    My father died of colon cancer. I am 68 y/o and have had five colonoscopies. And I am alive.

What Do You Think?

We invite you to share your thoughts with others, but remember that our comment section is a public forum. Please do not use your full first and last name if you want to keep details of your medical history anonymous. A first name and last initial or a pseudonym is acceptable. Advice from other commenters on this website is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. Stopping medication suddenly could result in serious harm. We expect comments to be civil in tone and language. By commenting, you agree to abide by our commenting policy and website terms & conditions. Comments that do not follow these policies will not be posted. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Your cart

Total
USD
Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.