Navigation Links
Blood test for colon cancer screening beneficial for some seniors, but not for many others
Date:5/9/2011

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. A new study of U.S. veterans ages 70 and older finds that the healthiest get the most benefit from current colon cancer screening methods. However, for many less healthy veterans the burdens of screening may outweigh the benefits.

"This study shows that we really need to target screening in older adults, so that those who will benefit do get screened and followed-up while those who won't benefit aren't exposed to unnecessary burdens," said Christine E. Kistler, MD, assistant professor of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lead author of the study.

The study was published online on May 9, 2011, by the journal Archives of Internal Medicine. Kistler led the study while completing a geriatrics fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She has since joined the faculty at the UNC School of Medicine.

In the study, 212 patients ages 70 and older who were treated at four Veterans Affairs medical facilities were followed for 7 years after receiving a positive result in a fecal occult blood test (FOBT). The test, which determines whether or not occult (hidden) blood is present in the stool, is the most common method used in the VA health system as an initial screen for colon cancer. A follow-up colonoscopy within one year is recommended for patients with a positive FOBT.

The study found that a little more than half of the patients received a follow-up colonoscopy. Among those who did, more than 25 percent were found to have significant disease such as precancerous adenomas or cancer, were treated, and survived for more than five years. However, 59 percent of those who received follow-up colonoscopy did not have cancer, 16 percent died of other causes within 5 years, and 10 percent suffered complications from either colonoscopy or cancer treatment.

Among those who did not receive follow-up colonoscopy, nearly half died of other causes within five years of their positive FOBT. Four patients ultimately died of colon cancer -- three within the first 5 years of their positive FOBT.

Of the 212 patients in the study, the researchers defined 33 patients, a little more than 15 percent, as receiving a net benefit from their positive FOBT. Another 30 patients, about 14 percent, were defined as receiving indeterminate benefit. The remaining 149 patients, about 70 percent, were defined as receiving a net burden from colorectal cancer screening.

Kistler said there was "a spectrum of burden" among those in the net burden group. For some the burden was that they never received a follow-up colonoscopy. Others received a colonoscopy but it found no evidence of cancer, and some died of causes other than colon cancer. In each of these examples, the patients received no benefit as a result of their positive FOBT, Kistler said.

"This study shows that we need to do a better job of targeting colon cancer screening to those seniors who are healthy and functional and are likely to benefit. At the same time, this study also shows that we need to seriously examine why those seniors who are not likely to benefit are being subjected to colon cancer screening," Kistler said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Hughes
tahughes@unch.unc.edu
919-966-6047
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Adalimumab levels detected in cord blood and infants exposed in utero
2. Blood Pressure May Hint at Kidney Cancer Outcome
3. Structured Exercise Programs Help Lower Blood Sugar, Study Finds
4. Religion Doesnt Help Lower Blood Pressure, Study Suggests
5. Living with a smoker may raise blood pressure in boys
6. Death Rates Among People With High Blood Pressure Falling
7. Self-powered, blood-activated sensor detects pancreatitis quickly and cheaply
8. Experts Offer New Guidance for Blood Pressure Control in Elderly
9. Newer Pill Linked to Higher Risk of Blood Clots
10. Mexican-American Children Have High Levels of Flame-Retardants in Blood
11. Heart drugs could cut blood pressure risks in pregnancy
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... process to promote standards of excellence for the field of eating disorders, announces ... 22 – 25, 2018 in Orlando, Florida at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Shelton, CT (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... and long-term care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of ... Department, Shelton Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids Fun Run ... This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, is aimed ... geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, which is ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Journey: From the Mountains to the Mission Field”: the story of a missionary couple ... From the Mountains to the Mission Field” is the creation of published author, Carole ... and currently teaches a class of ladies at her church, which she has taught ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and fastest growing franchisors and ... flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway 190, in January of ... Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows it to serve both ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... AVACEN Medical , Inc. (AVACEN) announced that ... New Product Innovation Award for Its fibromyalgia pain management ... medical device market research by Frost & Sullivan,s industry experts. ... pain relief product, the AVACEN 100, offers a safe and ... pain. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)...  True Health, a leader in integrated diagnostics ... National Breast Cancer Awareness month to educate doctors ... Research recently published in ... than 10 million American women are at significant ... BRCA2 and have not had testing. These mutations can ...
(Date:10/5/2017)...  In response to the nationwide opioid epidemic, ... (AAOMS) released prescribing recommendations that urge ibuprofen – ... a first-line therapy to manage a patient,s acute ... Recognizing the value and importance of the ... Acute and Postoperative Pain Management" stresses that practitioners ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: