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Can I skip colonoscopies after age 75?

February 1, 2022

Ask the doctors

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Q. I just turned 76 and I’m due for a colonoscopy. Am I old enough to skip this screening test?

A. The answer is likely yes, unless your doctor thinks you should continue for some reason. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends routine colorectal cancer screening, such as colonoscopy, for everyone from age 45 to 75. Some people may be advised to start screening earlier if they have a family history of colon cancer, if certain genetic conditions run in their family, or if they have an inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn’s disease. The USPSTF says that most people can stop screening at age 75, but people should ask their doctor if they might need to continue screening between ages 76 and 85. Some people may benefit from screening beyond that age based on their individual risk factors and overall health.

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