Colon cancer catcher
Here’s some comforting news for anyone who has had a colonoscopy and received a clean bill of health or had non-cancerous polyps removed: It appears that your risk of developing colorectal cancer in the future is quite low.
That’s according to a new study from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. When S-K researchers analyzed data collected from a national study of colon cancer rates following first-time colonoscopies, results showed that those original colonoscopies were far more significant than follow-up screenings in the prevention of colon cancer.
Lead author of the study, Ann G. Zauber, told HealthDay News, “The initial colonoscopy has a major impact – a huge, huge effect – on reducing colon cancer deaths.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean that follow-up screenings should be avoided. Zauber noted that with each passing year the importance of a follow-up colonoscopy rises. And patients who are at high-risk of colon cancer should have colonoscopies every three to five years.
You can find more information about colonoscopy and “virtual” colonoscopy (a relatively less invasive screening method) in the e-Alert “YouTubing” (10/17/07), at this link: http://www.hsionline.com/ealerts/ea200710/ea20071017a.html
“Initial Colonoscopy Key to Cancer Detection” Alan Mozes, HealthDay News, 10/16/07, healthday.com