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Colonoscopies may not reveal full cancer risk

Category: Colon

Colonoscopies routinely miss detecting potentially cancerous polyps, according to a new study published in the journal Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. The findings suggest that the procedure may not be the only colorectal cancer test that patients should consider.

In fact, there is a range of blood tests available that can detect the presence of colorectal cancer. Given the findings, patients may benefit from considering these options alongside colonoscopies.

After reviewing the records of a set of colonoscopies, the researchers found that 20 percent of patients did not adequately prepare their bowel tract, which is the most common cause of inaccuracies during the procedure. Among these patients, 42 percent of polyps discovered were found in subsequent testing.

The researchers said that their findings underscore the importance for patients to pursue further colorectal cancer testing if an initial colonoscopy discovers polyps. Continued medical attention could reveal further growths that may increase the risk of potentially deadly tumors.

This is particularly true of patients whose doctors notice they had poor bowel preparation before the procedure, the researchers added.  

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