About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Experts: Patients May Be Exposed to Unnecessary Risks By Fear of Missing Bowel Cancer

by Rukmani Krishna on October 13, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Font : A-A+

 Experts:  Patients May Be Exposed to Unnecessary Risks By Fear of Missing Bowel Cancer

Experts on bmj.com argue that we cannot allow a collective fear of missing bowel cancer to risk unnecessary and harmful treatment of patients with non-cancerous lesions.

Professor Geir Hoff and colleagues in Norway, argue that we need more evidence about the malignant potential of benign lesions to be sure that the risks of removing them do not outweigh the benefits of screening.

Advertisement

Bowel cancer screening has increased the detection of benign polyps (fleshy growths on the lining of the colon or rectum). The most common polyps found during screening are adenomas and guidelines recommend that they are removed.

However, data show that less than 5% of adenomas develop into colorectal cancer, suggesting that 95% of procedures may be exposing patients to unnecessary risks.
Advertisement

This concern about malignancy has now been extended to sessile serrated polyps which, the authors warn, are "less understood than adenomas and are more risky to remove."

Yet current consensus guidelines advise doctors to remove sessile serrated polyps measuring more than 5mm in diameter. Patients with sessile serrated polyps also undergo repeat colonoscopy every 1-5 years (a procedure involving a long tube with a camera on the end that is inserted via the rectum).

"The risk is that by adopting consensus guidelines the medical profession misses out on the opportunity to learn about the natural course of sessile serrated polyps and try different management options," write Professor Hoff and his team.

With more polyps being detected as a result of screening, "we need to be able to quantify the gains and harms and share this information with screening participants," they add. "It is not enough simply to share a belief that we are doing good, partly motivated by fear of not doing enough."

They acknowledge that guidelines are needed, but say they "should not be allowed to impair essential research to determine the malignant potential and best management of sessile polyps."

The change in guidelines towards an aggressive intervention strategy for sessile serrated polyps "may tilt the balance against screening if the improvements in mortality and incidence of colorectal cancer cannot be shown to outweigh the harms of intervention," they conclude.

This article is part of The BMJ's Too Much Medicine campaign to help tackle the threat to health and the waste of money caused by unnecessary care.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Contraceptive Pills in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Curtail Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Mushroom May Help Cut Down the Odds of Developing Depression
How to Battle Boredom during COVID
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Crohns Disease Xenophobia Small Intestinal Cancer Paranoia Resistance to Change 

Recommended Reading
Bowel Cancer Patients may Get Benefited by Metabolic Fingerprinting of Tumors
A new research reveals that it is possible to see how advanced a bowel cancer is by looking at its ....
Bowel Cancer Rates on Rise
Among men, bowel cancer rates have increased by 29 percent and among women only by about six ......
Crohns Disease
Crohn’s disease or regional enteritis is an inflammatory bowel disease that involves the small intes...
Paranoia
Paranoia is a false belief where the individual feels unfairly targeted or persecuted by everyone el...
Resistance to Change
Change is hard so, resistance to the same is inevitable. Overcoming the resistance to change is the ...
Small Intestinal Cancer
Learn all about the early signs, symptoms, prevention and treatment of small intestine cancer....
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...
Xenophobia
Xenophobia can be studied from two different perspectives. First as a medical condition ‘phobia’ sec...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use