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Mayo Clinic: Short training course significantly improves detection of precancerous polyps
Date:10/31/2011

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Just two extra hours of focused training significantly increased the ability of physicians to find potentially precancerous polyps, known as adenomas, in the colon, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida. These findings suggest that new methods to educate endoscopists, the physicians who examine the colon, could increase colorectal cancer detection rates and potentially reduce cancer deaths. Results of the study were presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Washington, D.C.

"Colorectal cancer screening, which has been proven to save many lives, is steadily improving due to better detection of precancerous polyps, but this study shows us that more can be done," says first author Susan Coe, M.D., who is in her third year of training as an endoscopist.

The prototype training course was developed by physicians at Mayo Clinic in Florida and evaluated in a randomized clinical study at the institution. Endoscopists at Mayo Clinic in Florida already have an adenoma detection rate that is higher than the national average. But the extra training examined in this study significantly increased that rate. National guidelines suggest that, on average, physicians should be detecting precancerous polyps in 25 percent of men and women who are examined. The detection rate at Mayo Clinic before training was 36 percent, and after training increased to 47 percent.

"Like other screening tests, there is always room for improvement, and that is particularly true in colonoscopy in the detection of very small or hard-to-see polyps," says the study's senior investigator, Michael Wallace, M.D., M.P.H., chief of the Division of Gastroenterolo
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Contact: Kevin Punsky
punsky.kevin@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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