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Study confirms colorectal cancer screening should start at age 50
Date:9/2/2008

wever, in older adults, the reverse was true. Regardless of age, adenomas were more prevalent in men than women.

In the general population, left-sided adenomas are most common, but among older adults (age 50+), who have more adenomas, there is a relatively greater prevalence of right-sided adenomas. African Americans in both age groups had predominately right-sided polyps.

Implications for Colorectal Cancer Screening

The use of sigmoidoscopy as a screening test for colorectal cancer does not allow gastroenterologists to view the right-side of the colon to screen for polyps, only the rectum and the lower end of the colon. If a polyp or abnormality is found, patients may require a regular colonoscopy for further evaluation. Right-sided adenomas cannot be viewed using a sigmoidoscopy.

Colonoscopy, which provides the most comprehensive view of the colon, is the definitive test for colorectal cancer screening. Colonoscopies allow gastroenterologists to view the entire colon and rectum for polyps or cancer and during the same exam remove pre-cancerous polyps. It is the test most gastroenterologists recommend as the single best screening exam for colorectal cancer. It is the only method that combines both screening and prevention (by removal of pre-cancerous polyps).

Study Design

The study evaluated the large intestine of 3,558 autopsy subjects, aged 20-89, that had colorectal cancer undetected or unsuspected during life. Subjects were categorized by sex, race and age in 10 year groups. Location and number of colorectal adenomas detected was measured by using epidemiologic autopsy in individuals; results were standardized to the general population. The study's researchers evaluated the large intestine of 1,001 individuals undergoing necropsy between the ages of 20 and 49 for the presence of adenomas.


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Contact: Aimee Frank
media@gastro.org
301-941-2620
American Gastroenterological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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