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Colon Cancer Blog: Patients With Ulcerative Colitis Need Close Colonoscopy Follow Up

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Nov 27, 2005

Patients With Ulcerative Colitis Need Close Colonoscopy Follow Up

Patients With Ulcerative Colitis Need Close Colonoscopy Follow Up
Patients with ulcerative colitis are at increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) and American Cancer Society (ACS) recommend regular surveillance for colon cancer through colonoscopies in these patients. This close surveillance should start eight years after development of ulcerative colitis involving the entire colon and 15 to 20 years after development of left sided ulcerative colitis.

Dr. Antoni Obrador, MD, who is the head of the gastroenterology division at Son Dureta Hospital in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, said that available data show that gastroenterologists worldwide do not adequately use widely accepted guidelines for colorectal cancer surveillance in ulcerative colitis patients in their clinical practice.

The recommendations also note that there should be a reduction in screening time intervals with increasing disease duration. Random biopsies of multiple areas of the colon and rectum have to be obtained at the time of this surveillance colonoscopy.

Dr. Obrador pointed out that studies in the US and New Zealand found that only about 20 percent of gastroenterologists were able to correctly identify dysplasia which is a pre-malignant condition, while a study in the Netherlands found that only about one-fourth of gastroenterologists complied with guidelines for colorectal cancer screening in ulcerative colitis patients.

Sue      Return to Colon Cancer Blog Main

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Colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the inner wall of the large intestine or rectum. Colorectal cancer is the third commonest cancer diagnosed in the United States. Each year over 100,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in the United States. Most, of these cancers develop from growths in the colon called polyps. Removal of these polyps can prevent colon cancer.

Colon Cancer Blog: Patients With Ulcerative Colitis Need Close Colonoscopy Follow Up

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