“How many years should pass between colonoscopies?”
Colonoscopy should be done at age 50 unless there is a family history of Colon Cancer. If there is a history of Colon Cancer the person should have a colonoscopy prior to that age – usually 5-10 years before. Example: Father had colon cancer at age 49, a son should have a colonoscopy at age 39-44.
If a person has rectal bleeding or spotting, get a colonoscopy ASAP. This holds true no matter the family history.
If polyps are found, colonoscopies need to be done 3-5 years thereafter.
If checked and no polyps are found, it is usually 10 years before you will need another colonoscopy.
“Do I need to see my Primary Care Physician prior to scheduling a colonoscopy?”
Yes, see your primary care physician to get scheduled for a colonoscopy. Most insurance companies require this visit.
“Does my Primary Care Physician do my prostate exam or do I have to get a referral to a specialist?”
Primary care physicians can do the prostate exam, and order labs or tests if needed.
“Do I have to go to Port Angeles to have a colonoscopy?”
No, General Surgeon Dr. Chang can perform your colonoscopy locally at Forks Community Hospital.
Melene Bourm RN, Surgery Manager
Disclaimer: This column is not intended as a diagnosis or recommended treatment of a specific condition. Answers are not a replacement for an individual medical evaluation. Individual health concerns should be evaluated by a licensed clinician.
Do you have a question you would like answered by an expert from Forks Community Hospital? Please submit your questions to [email protected] and we will do our best to answer them here in the Forum.