Screening Colonoscopy is Safe and Effective in Elderly Adults

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Screening Colonoscopy is Safe and Effective in Elderly Adults

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Colonoscopy is an effective tool for screening for colorectal cancer in adults over 75, and the rates of complications are similar to those for people under 65. In general, colonoscopy is recommended in adults with a life expectancy of five years or more. Studies have found that screening colonoscopy in the very elderly (over 80) results in only 15% of the expected gain in life expectancy in younger patients, and in this population should only be performed with careful consideration to risks and benefits for that particular patient. Expert recommendation is to evaluate life expectancy, and only screen those with 5 or more years of life expectancy.


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Jaques, Cory D. (2008). Screening Colonoscopy is Safe and Effective in Elderly Adults. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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