Colon cancer is diagnosed in about 135,000 Americans each year, and about 52,000 Americans die of colon cancer each year. For nonsmokers, it’s the top cause of cancer death. An unfortunate fact behind this statistic is that about a third of American adults aren’t up to date on screening tests for colon cancer, which may include colonoscopy or other screening tests a recommended intervals. If everyone were up to date, it’s estimated that 60% of colon cancer deaths could be avoided.
However, the number of adults who are current on colon cancer screening is on the rise, and incidences of colon cancer and death due to colon cancer have been in decline. For adults at normal risk of colon cancer, an initial colon screening is recommended at age 50. If you have a family history of colon cancer or other risks, it’s usually appropriate to have a first colonoscopy at a younger age. Depending on your results of your colonoscopy, your doctor can recommend an appropriate interval before your next colon cancer screening test.
Source: Mayo Clinic Health Letter April 2015