American Gastroenterological Association

View all recommendations from this society

Released April 4, 2012; updated June 20, 2018

Do not repeat colorectal cancer screening (by any method) for 10 years after a high-quality colonoscopy that does not detect neoplasia.

A screening colonoscopy every 10 years is the recommended interval for adults without increased risk for colorectal cancer, beginning no later than age 50. Published studies indicate the risk of cancer is low for 10 years after a high-quality colonoscopy fails to detect neoplasia in this population. Therefore, following a high-quality colonoscopy that does note detect neoplasia, the next interval for any colorectal screening should be 10 years following that normal colonoscopy.

These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) convened a work group that included members from the Clinical Practice and Quality Management Committee (CPQMC), chair of the Practice Management and Economics Committee (PMEC), the chief medical officer for the AGA Digestive Health Outcomes Registry® and members of the AGA Institute Governing Board. Ideas for the “five things” were solicited from the workgroup for review by the CPQMC, which developed additional topics, resulting in six draft items. The workgroup continued to pare down and refine the list, before submitting a final draft to both the CPQMC and the PMEC for approval. After final refinements were made to simplify language and avoid complex clinical terminology, the final list was submitted to and approved by the AGA Institute Governing Board. AGA’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at


Winawer S et. al. and US Multisociety Task Force on Colorectal Cancer. Colorectal Cancer Screening and Surveillance, Clinical Guidelines and Rationale—Update Based on New Evidence. Gastroenterology, 2003.

Rex et. al. Quality indicators for colonoscopy. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, 2006.