Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colorectal Cancer Risks Quantified

Date:
April 21, 2009
Source:
BMC Medicine
Summary:
Although the presenting features of colorectal cancer are well known, the risks they confer are less well defined. New research describes the exact risks posed by eight clinical features for the development of colorectal cancer in a large group of patients.

Although the presenting features of colorectal cancer are well known, the risks they confer are less well defined. New research describes the exact risks posed by eight clinical features for the development of colorectal cancer in a large group of patients.

William Hamilton led a team of researchers from the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham who studied the primary care records of 5,477 colorectal cancer patients and 38,314 controls. He said, "General practitioners (GPs) gain relatively little experience in the diagnosis of colorectal cancer because the incidence is about one per GP per year, and only a proportion of these are diagnosed in primary care. Our findings strengthen the view that rectal bleeding carries a high enough risk to warrant investigation irrespective of other symptoms. Current guidance requires persistence of bleeding for 6 weeks, or accompanying diarrhoea. In our opinion, these additional requirements are unnecessary."

The authors found that the highest risks were conferred by rectal bleeding and change in bowel habit. For men over 60 years, rectal bleeding positive predictive values (PPVs) ranged from 2.4-4.5%. For women, the figures were lower, but still in the 2-3% range. Dr Hamilton added, "Change in bowel habit is less simple: GPs contributing to the database must have been using this term very differently from the separate terms of constipation and diarrhoea, in that the PPVs for change in bowel habit were considerably higher. We cannot know what features led GPs to write change in bowel habit in the notes in preference to the specific motility symptoms – however, from our results it is clear that they were identifying a riskier feature, and one that warrants investigation".

The PPVs of the other presenting features were lower, but still significant. The values for constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and loss of weight were all below 1.5%, confirming that they are low risk symptoms, at any age and in either sex. However, the authors are keen to point out that these are not 'no-risk' symptoms. They say, "The high-risk symptoms of rectal bleeding and change in bowel habit were only recorded in 15.6% and 11.2% of cases, respectively. The remaining majority – with only a low risk symptom – could have their diagnosis expedited in a number of different ways, such as new scoring systems, new biomarkers or measurement of rectal DNA. Without one of these initiatives, or a combination of them, patients with a low risk symptom will continue to be at risk of delayed diagnosis, and possible emergency presentation".


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. William Hamilton, Robert Lancashire, Debbie Sharp, Tim Peters, KK Cheng and Tom Marshall. The risk of colorectal cancer with symptoms at different ages and between the sexes: a case-control study. BMC Medicine, (in press)

Cite This Page:

BMC Medicine. "Colorectal Cancer Risks Quantified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416190941.htm>.
BMC Medicine. (2009, April 21). Colorectal Cancer Risks Quantified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416190941.htm
BMC Medicine. "Colorectal Cancer Risks Quantified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090416190941.htm (accessed July 26, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
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:
from the past week

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