Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Often To Screen For Colon Cancer? Study Finds 5-year Risk Extremely Low

Date:
September 18, 2008
Source:
Indiana University
Summary:
How frequently should symptom-free individuals at average risk for colon cancer undergo screening with colonoscopy? Researchers report that while there still is no definitive answer to the question, they now know the procedure need not be performed any sooner than every five years.

How frequently should symptom-free individuals at average risk for colon cancer undergo screening with colonoscopy? In a study published in the Sept. 18, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine, researchers led by Thomas F. Imperiale, M.D., of the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, report that while there still is no definitive answer to the question, they now know the procedure need not be performed any sooner than every five years.

Related Articles


This is the first large study to systematically rescreen a group of average risk individuals who had normal findings from an initial colonoscopy. The rescreening showed that after five years they remained cancer free.

All 1,256 participants in the study were 50 years or older, had undergone a first-time screening with no cancer or pre-cancerous findings, and had no symptoms of colon cancer such as rectal bleeding, change of bowel habits or unexplained weight loss during the 5 year interval between screenings.

"The American Cancer Society and other guideline organizations call for colonoscopic screenings every 10 years but these recommendations are based on extrapolated, indirect data. No study has rescreened a large number of individuals ten years after a normal initial colonoscopy. Our study didn't assess whether the recommendation of 10-year screening interval for colonoscopy is 'right on' but we did determine that the appropriate screening interval can be more than 5 years for average risk individuals. Frankly, we don't know the optimal time interval between screenings," said Dr. Imperiale, who is a gastroenterologist and begins to discuss rescreening with his own patients 7 to 8 years after a previous normal exam unless they develop symptoms or have a family history of colon cancer in a first-degree relative.

The risk of colon cancer increases with age. Changes in lifestyle behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity also can affect risk.

"I try to tailor my rescreening recommendation to the individual patient. The interval and what rescreening method to use – colonoscopy, virtual colonoscopy, fecal occult blood testing -- are all factors we discuss, said Dr. Imperiale, who is a professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine and a member of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center.

"Determination of the appropriate frequency of rescreening for persons with normal findings on initial screening colonoscopy could have a substantial effect on the cost of colonoscopy and the capacity to provide it," the study notes. And, adds Dr. Imperiale, who is a clinical epidemiologist and an affiliate investigator of the Center on Implementing Evidence-based Practices at the Roudebush VA Medical Center, it may impact the likelihood that individuals will return for rescreening.

According to the American Cancer Society, "colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined. It is expected to cause about 49,960 deaths (24,260 men and 25,700 women) during 2008."

In addition to Dr. Imperiale, authors of the study are Elizabeth A. Glowinski, R.N., Indianapolis Gastroenterology Research Foundation; Ching Lin-Cooper, B.S., IU School of Medicine; Gregory N. Larkin, M.D., Eli Lilly; James D. Rogge, M.D., Indianapolis Gastroenterology Research Foundation; and David F. Ransohoff, M.D., University of North Carolina.

The study was funded, in part, by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Indiana University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Indiana University. "How Often To Screen For Colon Cancer? Study Finds 5-year Risk Extremely Low." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080917175036.htm>.
Indiana University. (2008, September 18). How Often To Screen For Colon Cancer? Study Finds 5-year Risk Extremely Low. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080917175036.htm
Indiana University. "How Often To Screen For Colon Cancer? Study Finds 5-year Risk Extremely Low." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080917175036.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

Despite Rising Death Toll, Many Survive Ebola

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) The family of a Dallas nurse infected with Ebola in the US says doctors can no longer detect the virus in her. Despite the mounting death toll in West Africa, there are survivors there too. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins