Colonoscopy, Polyp Removal Cuts Risk of Colorectal Cancer

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicates that colonoscopy examinations and polyp removal can actually reduce the mortality risk from colon cancer by half. This is good news for those who have polyps in Los Angeles, as there is now even more evidence that the early treatment and removal of these growths can be incredibly beneficial for the prevention of colon cancer.

In a study that spanned a little over two decades and followed 2,602 patients, results indicated that out of the 1,246 patients who underwent the removal of precancerous polyps called adenomas, only 12 patients actually died from colon cancer. This is lower by half when compared to the expected number of deaths. Of a second group of 773 patients who had other types of benign polyps removed, only one of those patients died of colon cancer during the follow-up period.

This information makes it even more important for patients to undergo regular colonoscopy exams beginning at the age of 50. According to the research, doctors now wonder if patients can be divided into two groups, including high risk and low risk categories. Patients with hyperplastic polyps removed are at a very low risk of colon cancer, whereas patients with precancerous polyps (or adenomas) removed are at high risk and will likely benefit from repeated colonoscopies.

Patients tend to shy away from colonoscopy because the thought of having a camera being inserted into their rectum is often embarrassing and uncomfortable. The clean-out process required prior to the colonoscopy also puts off patients. It is important to speak with your colon and rectal specialist about the health benefits of obtaining early screening for polyp removal. If patients can get past the unpleasant notions about colonoscopies, more colon cancer related deaths might be prevented.