My husband (51 years old) who has a family history of colon cancer had two colonoscopies on annually over the last two years. Each time the doctor found pulps in his right colon. I read that Colonoscopy Reduces Death from Cancer in the Left Colon, but Not the Right. What would you suggest my husband does in order to minimise the chances of getting cancer? Screening more frequently then every 12 months? Are there any special machines or doctors that specialise in right colon? We have access to the very best doctors and have great private insurance, so we have no limits in terms of access. We just need to educate ourselves in terms of what is best for my husband. Also he is terrified of doctors so it means that I am doing all the work as he is in denial.
Please see article below:
In a large case-control study performed by researchers at the University of Toronto, patients who had undergone colonoscopy at least once were significantly less likely to die of colorectal cancer (CRC) arising in the left side of the colon (the part of the colon closest to the rectum) than patients who had never had a colonoscopy. However, colonoscopy did not reduce mortality from CRC in the right side of the colon, according to results published in the December 15, 2008, Annals of Internal Medicine (see the journal abstract).
Using four Ontario-based databases, the investigators matched 10,292 patients who had died of CRC with 51,460 controls who did not have CRC. Each patient was matched to five controls by age, sex, income, and location of residence, and all controls were alive at the date of the patient’s death.
Because the investigators could not distinguish screening colonoscopies from diagnostic colonoscopies using the database records, they excluded all colonoscopies done within six months before a diagnosis of CRC.
Seven percent of case patients and almost 10 percent of controls had undergone colonoscopy. “Case patients were less likely than controls to have undergone any attempted colonoscopy…or complete colonoscopy,” stated the authors. Both attempted and complete colonoscopy reduced the likelihood of death from left-sided CRC, but not right-sided CRC.
The reasons for the lack of efficacy in preventing right-sided CRC are not clear, but may include less effective bowel preparation or colonoscopy technique in the right colon or differences in the biology and natural history of cancer arising in the right colon, explained the authors.
These results “seem consistent with a CRC mortality risk reduction of about 60 percent to 70 percent for the left colon and highlight the fact that we have very little data…about efficacy in the right colon,” said Dr. David Ransohoff of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in an accompanying editorial.
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