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A 64-year-old male asked:

I have reasonably well controlled left-sided ulcerative colitis (on azathioprine and balsalazide), diagnosed approx 34 years ago aged 30. how often should i have surveillance colonoscopy?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Arthur Heller
Gastroenterology 43 years experience
Every year...: ...Or maybe 2 (recommendations are slightly different in uk andus). Long term uc ( even left sided) can have increased risk for colon cancer, without going through the usual polyp gone bad over time stages. Colonoscopy with multiple biopsies to check for " dysplasia" are done. If dysplasia (either a precancer change or marker for current nearby ca), need to seriously consider surgery ( various).
Dr. Robert Uyeda
General Surgery 45 years experience
Depends: On how active your uc has been. You should have had baseline colonoscopy at age 50, and if the disease was quiescent and you had no other abnormalities, your risk should be close to baseline. Ask your GI specialist for specific recommendation.

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Last updated Jun 10, 2014

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