September 27, 2011 |
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.
September 13, 2010 |
Colorectal cancer kills more Americans than any other cancer except lung cancer. But the death toll doesn't have to be as high as it is. Screening works. The American Cancer Society estimates that such tests saved 70,000 lives in the last 20 years. "Just think how many we could save if we did it right," says Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer for the ACS in Atlanta. Doing it right would mean doing it on a lot more people. During those 20 years, only about 25% to 30% of the men and women who should have been screened — those age 50 or older — did get screened, Brawley says.
July 18, 2009 |
A swallowed capsule that takes pictures of the colon as it passes through misses too many precancerous lesions and is not ready to replace more traditional colonoscopies, Belgian researchers reported this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Given Imaging PillCam detects some tumors and polyps but missed five of the 19 tumors found in patients who were also checked with a colonoscopy, they said.
April 26, 2009
Re: "Cancer exams get political," April 18: The debate over virtual colonoscopy is emblematic of the dysfunctional way America makes healthcare decisions. Whenever a new, expensive procedure comes out, the question seems to be framed, "Should we pay for it?" It is very hard for me to believe that when available knowledge is taken into account and special interest groups have less influence, this procedure could not be performed with as good or better results at a fraction of the current cost.
June 27, 1987 |
President Reagan had two small polyps removed from his colon Friday during a routine follow-up examination intended to check for any recurrence of his 1985 colon cancer. Army Col. John Hutton, the President's physician, said that the polyps would be subjected to microscopic analysis, although they are "benign-appearing." Otherwise, Hutton said, nothing unusual was found during the examination. "The President continues to be in excellent health," he said.
May 14, 2012 |
This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details. A colonoscopy is a life-saving procedure, identifying polyps and early-stage tumors so they can be removed before they grow and spread. But many people refuse to undergo the procedure because they don't relish having an endoscope inserted into their body, and they don't like the preparation for the procedure, which requires drinking laxatives and spending large amounts of time in the lavatory the night before.