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Colonoscopy Risks Increase With Age and Illness
Date:6/15/2009

erall health and life expectancy should really determine the appropriateness of colonoscopy among the elderly, Chang said. "Age alone should probably not be used for the determination of the appropriateness of colorectal cancer screening," he said.

Dr. Durado Brooks, director of prostate and colorectal cancer prevention programs at the American Cancer Society, thinks the study raises questions about the recent decision by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services not to pay for so-called virtual colonoscopies.

"Given the possibility of harm coming to patients [from colonoscopy], it seems ill-advised to withhold another potential screening approach that would allow physicians to have a complete view of the patient's colon," Brooks said.

More information

For more information on colon cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Joan L. Warren, Ph.D., Applied Research Program, U.S. National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Md.; Durado Brooks, M.D., director, prostate and colorectal cancer prevention programs, American Cancer Society, Atlanta; George Chang, M.D., assistant professor, surgical oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston; Thomas Imperiale, M.D., professor, medicine, Indiana University Medical Center, Indianapolis; June 16, 2009, Annals of Internal Medicine


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