Four out of five people with colon cancer have no family history of it. It is important for all women and men ages 50 or over to have a colonoscopy.
A colonoscopy can find growths called polyps before they turn into colon cancer. Then the doctor doing the colonoscopy can just cut them out right then.
A colonoscopy can also find colon cancer before it causes any symptoms. This is the time when it is easier to treat.
Most people who do not have a family history of colon cancer only need a colonoscopy once every ten years. The other types of screening tests have to be done more often.