Peer-influenced content. Sources you trust. No registration required. This is HCN.

The Epoch TimesWhen Are You Too Old to Get a Colonoscopy?

Reevaluating the Efficacy and Risks of Colonoscopy in the Elderly Population

In light of recent findings from Kaiser Permanente Northern California, the medical community is prompted to reassess the utility and safety of routine surveillance colonoscopies in individuals over 70. This study, published in JAMA Network Open, underscores the necessity of a nuanced approach to colorectal cancer screening in older adults, balancing the low detection rates against the procedure’s inherent risks.

Key Points:

  • The cross-sectional study conducted at Kaiser Permanente Northern California involved 9,601 patients aged between 70 and 85 with a history of adenoma.
  • Only 0.3% of surveillance colonoscopies in this cohort detected colorectal cancer, while about 12% identified advanced adenoma and advanced neoplasia.
  • The prevalence of adenomas in the United States is noted at 40% in screening colonoscopies, with a recommendation for removal to prevent cancer progression.
  • Guidelines are currently ambiguous regarding the duration of surveillance colonoscopies after the removal of adenomas, particularly in older adults.
  • Risks associated with colonoscopy include bleeding, colon perforation, sedation-related complications, infection, heart attack, severe abdominal pain, and stroke.
  • Factors increasing the likelihood of advanced neoplasia include a BMI over 30, a history of smoking, and prior advanced adenoma, whereas Asian or Pacific Islander descent was associated with lower risk.
  • The findings advocate for personalized care strategies in older adults, weighing the low cancer detection rates against the potential procedural risks.

About 7 in 10 US adults aged 50 to 75 are up-to-date with colorectal cancer screening. (CDC)

More on Colorectal Cancer (CRC)

The Healthcare Communications Network is owned and operated by IQVIA Inc.

Click below to leave this site and continue to IQVIA’s Privacy Choices form