A study done at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that the risk of dying from colon cancer is cut by more than 50 percent when polyps are removed during colonoscopies.
One of the scientists who worked on the study says it confirms theories that removing the growths prevents formation of tumors.
Only half of those who are told to get colonoscopies get the procedure, which is seen as embarrassing and uncomfortable.
The National Cancer Institute says one out of every 20 Americans will get colorectal cancer.
Results of the study are published in the "New England Journal of Medicine."