Extending Interval Between Colonoscopies Feasible After Negative Result
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Extending Interval Between Colonoscopies Feasible After Negative Result

Extending interval from 10 to 15 years could miss early detection of two CRC cases per 1,000 and avoid 1,000 colonoscopies

FRIDAY, May 3, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- For individuals without a family history of colorectal cancer (CRC), increasing the interval between colonoscopies for those with a first colonoscopy with negative findings seems safe and can avoid unnecessary colonoscopies, according to a study published online May 2 in JAMA Oncology.

Qunfeng Liang, from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg, and colleagues assessed how many years after a first colonoscopy with findings negative for CRC a second colonoscopy can be performed. The exposed group included individuals without a family history of CRC who had a first colonoscopy with findings negative for CRC at age 45 to 69 years between 1990 and 2016, while the control group included matched individuals who did not have a colonoscopy during follow-up or who underwent colonoscopy resulting in CRC diagnosis (110,074 and 1,981,332 individuals, respectively).

The researchers found that 484 incident CRCs and 112 CRC-specific deaths occurred during up to 29 years of follow-up of individuals with a first colonoscopy with findings negative for CRC. For 15 years, the risks for CRC and CRC-specific death were significantly lower in the exposed group than in matched controls. The 10-year standardized incidence ratio was 0.72 at 15 years after a first colonoscopy with negative findings, and the 10-year standardized mortality ratio was 0.55. Extending the colonoscopy screening interval from 10 to 15 years could miss the early detection of two CRC cases and prevention of one CRC-specific death per 1,000 individuals and could potentially avert 1,000 colonoscopies.

"A longer interval between colonoscopy screenings could be beneficial in avoiding unnecessary invasive examinations," the authors write.

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