I'm 76 years old and am wondering when it's no longer necessary to get colon cancer screening? Is there an upper age limit?
Answer From Michael F. Picco, M.D.
There's no upper age limit for colon cancer screening. But most medical organizations in the United States agree that the benefits of screening decline after age 75 for most people and there's little evidence to support continuing screening after age 85.
Discuss colon cancer screening with your health care provider. Together you can consider the benefits and risks of continued screening.
You and your provider might decide that it's a good idea to continue colon cancer screening if any of the following apply to you:
- You're in excellent health.
- You've never had colon cancer screening before.
- You have a factor that increases your risk of colon cancer, such as a strong family history of colon cancer, a previous colon cancer diagnosis or a personal history of colon polyps.
Dec. 17, 2021
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.
ErrorEmail field is required
ErrorInclude a valid email address
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing
Our Housecall e-newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest health information.
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
See more Expert Answers
- Colorectal cancer: Screening and management (adult). AskMayoExpert. Mayo Clinic; 2021.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for colorectal cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. JAMA. 2021; doi:10.1001/jama.2021.6238.
- Colorectal cancer screening. National Comprehensive Cancer Network. https://www.nccn.org/guidelines/guidelines-detail?category=2&id=1429. Accessed Dec. 7, 2021.
- Wolf AMD, et al. Colorectal cancer screening for average-risk adults: 2018 guideline update from the American Cancer Society. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2018; doi:10.3322/caac.21457.
- Shaukat A, et al. ACG clinical guideline: Colorectal cancer screening 2021. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2021; doi:10.14309/ajg.0000000000001122.