The prevalence of pre-cancerous masses in the colon is the same for average-risk patients who are 40 to 49 years of age and those who are 50 to 59 years of age, according to a study published in the current issue of Gastroenterology, the journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Institute. In comparing colonoscopy results by age group, the team of scientists found that in the 40 to 49 age group, 79 patients, or 14 percent, had one or more adenoma or pre-cancerous growth. Similarly, the 50 to 59 age group had 56 patients, or 16 percent, with one or more adenoma.
Data from a centralized digital medical record system were analyzed by a team of researchers led by Alfred I. Neugut, MD, PhD, professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health and professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and head of cancer prevention and control for the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, Columbia University Medical Center and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and Andrew Rundle, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health. The researchers reviewed 553 screening colonoscopies for patients ages 40 to 49 and 352 screening colonoscopies for patients ages 50 to 59. Individuals who could be deemed "high-risk" because of a family history of colon cancer, a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease, or any malignancy other than skin cancer were excluded from the sample.
Currently, standard protocol recommends screening patients age 50 and over for colon cancer based on the increasing incidence of colon cancer at that age. Because observational studies have shown that it takes a decade for adenomas to develop and progress to cancer, the increase in colon cancer prevalence in the over-50 age group, in fact, may be the result of undetected adenomas that were present in the individuals in their 40s.
"Our results support the theory that adenomas, which later may lead to cancer, form at an age earlier than we screen for today," said Dr. Neugut. "With this information in hand, it is logical to think that if we were to recommend screening for colon cancer at age 40, we may be able to decrease its prevalence even further and save more people from having to battle the disease."
Though the number of adenomas was relatively similar in the two age groups, there was a doubling in the prevalence of abnormal cell growth, or advanced neoplasia, in the 50 to 59 age group versus the 40 to 49 age group. While not statistically significant, in the 40 to 49 age group, 11 patients, or two percent, had an advanced neoplasm, and in the 50 to 59 age group, 13 patients, or four percent, had an advanced neoplasm.
"What this implies is that while the number of pre-cancerous growths is very similar in both age groups, there is a progression toward cancer in older patients," noted Dr. Rundle. "Abnormal cell growth is a warning sign of cancer, so the fact that there's an increase in advanced neoplasia in the older age group is in line with the increased colon cancer incidence we see in individuals over the age of 50. Detecting adenomas when patients are in their 40s could mean that we are able to drastically lower the prevalence of colorectal cancer. Additional studies need to be done to look specifically at this possibility and the cost-benefit of beginning screening at an earlier age."
Only one prior study has investigated the prevalence of colorectal adenomas in average-risk individuals aged 40 to 49 years in the U.S., and it reports very similar findings: an adenoma prevalence of 11 percent in the age group.
Stephanie Berger | EurekAlert!
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
05.12.2016 | Information Technology
05.12.2016 | Earth Sciences