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!
Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Medical Engineering
17.02.2017 | Health and Medicine