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ACG: Five-Year Colonoscopy Re-Screening Evaluated

Low risk after five years supports extending the screening interval in average-risk patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- If an initial colonoscopy shows no evidence of pre-cancerous growths or polyps, a follow-up colonoscopy five years later is extremely unlikely to show significant changes, according to research presented this week at the 71st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology in Las Vegas.

Thomas Imperiale, M.D., of Indiana University in Indianapolis, and colleagues studied patients enrolled in a corporate-sponsored colorectal screening program. They analyzed data on 1,256 patients who were re-screened five years after an initial screening showed no precancerous growths.

The researcher found none of the patients developed cancer, 16 percent developed polyps larger than 1 centimeter, and 1.2 percent developed advanced adenomas. They also found that men were more likely than women to develop polyps and advanced adenomas.

These findings suggest a longer interval for follow-up screening may be safe, and support recommendations by the American College of Gastroenterology and other groups to re-screen average-risk patients after 10 years, according to an ACG statement.

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