Colon cancer is the number 2 cause of cancer death in men and women. As long as colonoscopy is performed roughly every 5 years you it is highly unlikely you will get colon cancer. Polyps are precancerous growths found in the colon that grow over time. As a polyp grows larger the chances that it will turn into cancer greatly increase. If these polyps are removed during screening colonoscopy then they don’t have a chance to grow and turn into cancer. Screening colonoscopy should be performed at age 50 for the general population. At age 45 for African Americans and 10 years earlier than age of diagnosis for patients with a family history of colon cancer.