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Risk Factors That May Warrant a Colonoscopy

Has your doctor recommended a colonoscopy?

Several factors put you at risk for colon cancer, and that is why your doctors recommend getting a colonoscopy every five to ten years. The board-certified colon and rectal surgeons at Associates in Colon and Rectal Surgery perform colonoscopies in Salt Lake City, UT.

What is a Colonoscopy?

A colonoscopy is a procedure that screens for cancer and allows doctors to collect samples called biopsies for further testing. If cancerous growths are found, they can be removed during the procedure. Your doctor will use a colonoscope which is a thin and flexible tube with a camera attached to look inside the colon and rectum.

A colonoscopy is typically recommended once every ten years for patients over 50 because they are at risk for colon cancer. If you have any of the other risk factors, you may need one more often or at a younger age.

Risk Factors That Warrant A Colonoscopy in Salt Lake City, UT

Many risk factors mean you could benefit from a colonoscopy, including:

  • Age- Age is the most common risk factor for colon cancer because it affects all adults. People over the age of 65 are at the highest risk
  • Race- It is unknown why, but people of African descent are more likely to be diagnosed with colon cancer and at a younger age. It is one of the most common fatal cancers among African Americans.
  • Gender- Men are more likely to develop colon cancer
  • Family history- If you have a close family member like a parent or sibling with colon cancer, your risk of developing it almost doubles
  • History of rare diseases- Some diseases like MYH-associated polyposis (MAP) or Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) put you at a higher risk
  • Smoking- Smoking is shown to be linked with colon cancer
  • Cancer- If you have had cancer in the past, you are more likely to develop another form
  • Diet and obesity- The foods you eat and your weight both put you at a higher risk of colon cancer. Maintain a healthy weight and limit your red meat consumption.


You can make an appointment at Associates in Colon and Rectal Surgery in Salt Lake City, UT, for a colonoscopy if you have one or more of the risk factors. Call us at (801) 263-1621 today.

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