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New study finds strong association between smoking and flat precancerous polyps
Date:6/10/2010

OAK BROOK, Ill. June 10, 2010 According to a new study, smoking was found to have a strong association with the presence of flat adenomas (precancerous polyps) in the colon and may explain the earlier onset of colorectal cancer in smokers, as well as the advanced stage with which they present when compared to nonsmokers. Flat adenomas are more difficult to detect and have more aggressive pathology than the typical raised type of polyp detected during colorectal cancer screening. The study appears in the June issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

Colorectal polyps are growths that reside in the lining of the colon (large intestine) or rectum. It is believed that most colorectal cancers start as a small colorectal polyp known as an adenoma. Flat nonpolypoid adenomas are considered to be more aggressive than polypoid (raised) adenomas. Therefore, it is recommended that all adenomatous polyps be removed. Removal of colorectal polyps is key in preventing colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that the removal of polyps results in a decrease in the development of colorectal cancer.

"Little is known regarding the risk factors for these flat lesions, which may account for over one-half of all adenomas detected with a high-definition colonoscope. Smoking has been shown to be an important risk factor for colorectal neoplasia in several screening studies," said study lead author Joseph C. Anderson, MD, Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Conn. "The aim of this study was to investigate smoking as a risk factor for flat adenomas in an average risk population undergoing screening colonoscopy. In 600 asymptomatic patients who underwent screening colonoscopy, smoking was associated with the presence of flat adenomas."

Colonoscopy is recommended as the primary screening method for c
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Contact: Anne Brownsey
abrownsey@asge.org
630-570-5635
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Source:Eurekalert

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