They are well detectable in an endoscopic examination of the colon called colonoscopy and can be removed during the same examination. Therefore, regular screening can prevent colon cancer much better than other types of cancer. Since 2002, colonoscopy is part of the national statutory cancer screening program in Germany for all insured persons aged 55 or older.
However, only one fifth of those eligible actually make use of the screening program. The reasons for this are manifold including fear of a frightening diagnosis and fear of a potentially unpleasant examination which can also lead to complications.
"For an examination offered to large portions of the population, the question of safety is of central importance. Therefore, it is equally important that physicians and public health experts are very well informed about the risks of complications," says Professor Hermann Brenner of DKFZ. "Only then can they profoundly evaluate chances and risks of a colonoscopy with their patients." Brenner, a prevention expert, analyzed the actual incidence of serious side effects during colonoscopy examinations in Germany.
In the study now published, intestinal bleeding requiring hospitalization occurred after no more than about five in 10,000 colonoscopies. Injuries to the intestinal wall were also very rare, with an incidence of less than one case in 1,000 exams. Deaths and non-local complications such as strokes or myocardial infarctions were not more frequent in the colonoscopy group than in the control group.
Thus, the complication rate is in a range which the prevention experts expected and consider being justifiable in view of the much greater benefit of screening. "The rare serious local complications usually only occur when a large polyp is detected and removed during a colonoscopy," says Hermann Brenner. "But these are the cases where patients profit most from colonoscopy, which may have saved their lives."
Christian Stock, first author of the study, and his colleagues from Brenner's team evaluated the data of over 30,000 individuals insured with the German statutory health insurance AOK who had undergone outpatient colonoscopy between 2001 and 2008 either for screening purposes or because of medical indications. The control group of the same size consisted of insured persons who had not had a screening test. The researchers analyzed the incidence of serious adverse events such as intestinal wall injuries, intestinal bleeding requiring hospitalization, myocardial infarction and stroke as well as mortality. They looked at a time period of 30 days following the colonoscopy in order to also include possible late effects.
In Germany, approximately 65,000 people are newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year; 26,000 people succumbed to the disease in 2010. Colon cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women and the second most common cause of cancer-related death. Hermann Brenner concludes: "If more people made use of colorectal cancer screening tests, half of these new cases and deaths could be avoided."
Christian Stock, Peter Ihle, Andreas Sieg, Ingrid Schubert, Michael Hoffmeister and Hermann Brenner: Adverse Events requiring hospitalization within 30 days after outpatient screening and nonscreening colonoscopies. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 2013, DOI: 10.1016/j.gie.2012.10.028
Sibylle Kohlstädt | EurekAlert!
Novel PET tracer identifies most bacterial infections
06.10.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Teleoperating robots with virtual reality
05.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research