Colonoscopy misses 6% of colon cancers

Only 6 percent of colorectal cancers diagnosed within three to five years received a clean colonoscopy report, according to a study out of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

"Not only did we find that colonoscopy isn't perfect, we discovered a number of factors associated with these 'missed' cancers," said N. Jewel Samadder, MD, M.Sc., lead author of the study and an HCI investigator. "They tended to appear in patients over the age of 65, patients with a family history of colorectal cancer, and patients in whom polyps were previously found." 

The study shows that the rate of cancers missed at colonoscopy was slightly lower than comparable studies in Germany and Canada. It previously was believed that the rate of missed cancers would be much lower in the U.S., since most colonoscopies in the U.S. are performed by gastroenterologists, while colonoscopies in foreign healthcare systems are performed by family physicians, internists and surgeons who may not be as experienced with the procedure. Announcement

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