How Often Do You Need A Colonoscopy If You Have Had Polyps?

Colonoscopy is a very popular examination procedure prescribed by physician and performed by gastroenterologist. The test is extremely effective in diagnosing polyp growth or any sign of colorectal cancer. The frequency of undergoing the test mainly depends on three aspects i.e. the condition of the patient, age of the patient and also the possible risk of developing cancer.

Through this test doctors can get a clear look inside the colon of the patient and can also remove sample of suspected polyp or tissue. This sample is then used for further analysis like whether the polyp is cancerous or not. In the bowel lining of some patients some small outgrowth develops and in due course of time these outgrowths becomes cancerous. These outgrowths are termed as polyps in medical term. If doctor suspect any problem during the test and further analysis confirms the presence of cancerous tissue then doctors immediately starts with the treatment process. If the problem is identified at an early stage then the possibility of treating the problem completely increases.

How Often Do You Need A Colonoscopy If You Have Had Polyps?

How Often Do You Need A Colonoscopy If You Have Had Polyps?

How often the test should be done? If polyps are found inside the colon of the patient then doctors ask for undergoing the test in every three to four years. This way the effectiveness of the treatment is determined and also whether the growth of polyp has stopped or not. For patients who have family history of polyps, bowel inflammation, hereditary syndrome and colon cancer are recommended to undergo the test one in every eight to ten years. Survey report reveals that colon cancer is usually found in the patients who are of or more than 50 years of age. This is so because the risk of the problem increases with age and more than ninety percentage of the patients suffering colon cancer are or around 50 years of age.

In most of the cases colorectal cancers starts to develop from a polyp. Precancerous polyp takes almost 10 years to develop cancer; as such there are no evidences for this because doctor removes the polyps sample at a very early stage i.e. before it is completely develops cancer. Colon screening helps in identifying the colon cancer at a stage when the chances of treatment are very high. Screening test is recommended only till the age of 75 years of age and after that till 85 years of age the test is completely optional and depends on patient’s wish. However, after the age of 85 years of age this test is not at all recommended. Patient opting for colonoscopy should look for a well experienced gastroenterologist for the test.

Why Get Tested?

Getting tested for colonoscopy helps in identifying the problem at a very early stage, this way patient can either avoid the problem or can also adopt necessary treatment measures. There are series of tests that are available for diagnosing the problem, but colonoscopy is the most effective test for identifying both polyps and colon cancer.

Patients who are 50 years of age are having average risk of suffering from colon cancer are prescribed to undergo the following test:

  • Examinations that can spot cancer or polyps
  • Sigmoidoscopy once in every five years
  • Colonoscopy once in a decade
  • Virtual CT Colonography once in every five years

Is the Screening Of Rectal Region Effective For Identifying Colorectal Cancer?

During the rectal examination doctors perform the internal examination of rectum area with the help of lubricated gloved finger. It is usually included as a part of routine test, but it is not the only way to identify colon cancer. The test is not at all painful but with this existence of small mass is found in the lower rectum or anal canal. Once such mass is found the next step is to undergo colonoscopy so that exact condition of the mass is identified along with the fact that whether the mass is cancerous in nature or not.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 29, 2018

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