Your doctor may recommend earlier or more frequent testing if you:
Already have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with an adenomatous polyp or colorectal cancer. Some experts say that if you have a first-degree relative who has had colorectal cancer, you should begin screening earlier than age 50. They recommend starting at age 40 or when you are 10 years younger than when your relative was diagnosed with cancer, whichever is younger.footnote 1
Have had adenomatous polyps removed from your colon. This type of polyp is more likely to turn into cancer, but the risk is still very low.
If you have an increased risk for colon polyps, the frequency of your screening depends on your overall health, age, and combination of other risk factors. Talk with your doctor about the types and frequency of tests that will be best for you and your level of risk.