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Patient Question

What are the guidelines for colon cancer screening?

Chris Lascarides, MD

Chris Lascarides, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Expert Answer

3 Good Reasons To Get a Colonoscopy

Of course, not many of us look forward to a colonoscopy, but for detecting colorectal cancers and other gastroenterologic disorders, it remains the gold standard. Here are three good reasons to schedule a colonoscopy.

1. Age. If you are at average risk and recently turned 50, it is time to get a baseline screening. If the exam is normal and there are no other risk factors, you will only need to have future exams at 10-year intervals, unless your physician recommends otherwise.

2. New Technology. Colonoscopies are less invasive and more comfortable than ever before. The average procedure takes less than an hour. Plus, Stony Brook is pioneering promising virtual colonoscopy technology, which may make colonoscopies even easier in the future.

3. Success. Colon cancer has one of the highest cure rates if detected early. Colonoscopies can uncover and remove benign polyps that if left in the colon can grow into cancerous tumors. Because colon cancer has no discernible early symptoms, screenings are particularly important.

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