Colonoscopy is the gold standard for detecting colon cancer. Doctors scrutinize the colon for abnormal growths and remove any polyps that are found.
Some have questioned the value of this procedure, but a new study of data from almost 90,000 people over two decades shows that it reduces the risk of colon cancer by as much as 68 percent. People who don’t have polyps can wait up to 10 years between tests, but doctors are still trying to determine the optimal interval for those who have polyps discovered during the colonoscopy.
Lynn commented on www.peoplespharmacy.com: “Today I had my first ever colonoscopy at age 49. I have a family history of colon cancer and sure enough, my doctor already found 2 small polyps and diverticulitis. I am expected to return for repeats every 5 years as opposed to someone with a clean bill of health who can go 10 years. I will gladly go through the prep again and again. It sure beats the hell my family members went through who would have been saved if colonoscopies existed during their time!”
Failure to diagnose colorectal cancer is among the top 10 errors that result in malpractice suits. But to get the most out of this screening measure, patients have to make and keep appointments for colonoscopies at individually appropriate intervals.