Do You Really Need Your Colonoscopy?

The study had a follow-up period of about 10 years, said Ashwani Rajput, M.D., Ph.D., director of Johns Hopkins University Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center. And the benefits of screening will become more apparent over time, he added.

Finally, we note that previous colonoscopy studies have shown a significant reduction in the risk of both colorectal cancer incidence and mortality. Studies evaluating other colorectal cancer screening modalities are similar.

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“Colonoscopy should not be construed as ineffective, and most importantly, screening for colon cancer should not be construed as ineffective,” Meyerhardt said.

Bottom Line: Get Screened and Stay Up-to-Date on Screening

Despite headlines touting disappointing study results, experts say colonoscopies and colorectal cancer screenings more generally are absolutely life-saving and should not be skipped. “There is no question that colorectal cancer screening is effective,” says Carole Macaron, M.D., Ph.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Crowd of people.

If the risk of colon cancer is average, that is, if there is no family history of the disease or another condition, such as Crohn’s disease, that increases the likelihood of developing colon cancer, regular screening starts at age 45. and continue until age 75. From age 76 he should decide in consultation with his doctor whether he should continue screening until age 84. Adults over the age of 85 do not need to be screened.

A colonoscopy is just one type of colon cancer screening. During this procedure, doctors use a flexible tool with a camera attached to the end to view the entire colon. One advantage of this screening is that if a doctor finds a polyp (a small clump of cells that may be precancerous) during the procedure, it can be removed on the spot.

“If you put it 10 or 15 years ahead, [a polyp] They can progress to cancer, so we need to remove them so that the risk of cancer from polyps is technically zero,” Macaron said. If you choose to have a colonoscopy, it should be done every 10 years. If the test finds polyps, your doctor may ask you to repeat the test sooner.

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