Colon Cancer Risk: Too Few Follow Colonoscopy Recommendations

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People who are diagnosed during colonoscopy with colorectal adenomas, which are benign growths or polyps that may become cancerous, often don’t follow subsequent surveillance guidelines, according to a study conducted at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle. The guidelines recommend a surveillance colonoscopy within three years for people with high-risk adenomas and those with large or numerous polyps.

For this study, the researchers used electronic health records to identify 6,909 patients ages 50 to 89 who had undergone colonoscopies in which one or more high-risk adenomas were found. Then they used the same data source to determine which of these patients had surveillance colonoscopies within about three years.

According to the researchers, the percentage of patients who had follow-up colonoscopies within the guidelines ranged from just over 18 percent to almost 60 percent, depending on a number of factors, including the health care facility at which they were seen. Study participants diagnosed with more or higher-risk adenomas and those 60 to 74 were more likely than others to undergo the recommended follow-up testing.

Sourced from: Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention