Routine colonoscopy is something we all consider after the age of 50, as it is recommended as a routine measure for identifying ‘at risk’ patients and preventing colon cancer or providing early detection without symptoms.
Then, after your first colonoscopy, doing a recheck colonoscopy is a little less certain. Right now, we recommend screening in 7-10 years, but a recent study shows that there are various ways to monitor patients after a first ‘NEGATIVE’ colonoscopy. These include checking for microscopic blood in the bowel (which we do routinely on physical exam), or doing HOME KITS to check bowel movements for microscopic blood. Either seems to reduce future risk for colon cancer and provides an acceptable level of screening for ongoing risk.
So….do get that first colonoscopy, but if ALL CLEAR…..we can consider a less aggressive approach.