Men and women get colon cancer at different rates, so separate screening… (Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty…)
Men and women may need different screening guidelines for colonoscopies because of varying tumor rates between the genders.
A study released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. analyzed the results of 44,350 colonoscopy screenings over four years; the tests covered adenomas (benign tumors), advanced adenomas, and colorectal cancer. Generally, screenings are recommended for men and women starting at age age 50 because colorectal rates begin to climb in the following decade.
The incidence of adenomas in men was 24.9%, and for women it was 14.8%. When broken down by age, the occurrence among men 50 to 54 was 18.5%, while among women that age it was 10.7%. But women age 65 to 69 had a similar prevalence of 17.9% compared to men in the 50 to 54 category.
Men had twice the incidence of colorectal cancer compared with women--1.5% versus 0.7%. Once again, older women had comparable rates to those of younger men: for women age 65 to 69 it was 1.2%, while for men age 55 to 59 it was 1.3%.
Based on these findings, the study authors suggest that screening recommendations for men and women of different ages may need to be reconsidered.