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From ASGE to Patients: How to Get a Quality Screening

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•             A recent study from ASGE's scientific journal, GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, reported that colonoscopies done with suboptimal bowel preparation are associated with relatively high adenoma (precancerous polyp) miss rates, suggesting that poor bowel preparation substantially decreases colonoscopy effectiveness and may mandate an early follow-up examination.

•             Return for follow-up exams as recommended: Individuals at average risk screened at age 50 with normal exam results will not have to return for another exam for 10 years. Removal of an adenomatous (precancerous) polyp prevents that polyp from becoming cancerous, but the patient is still at risk to develop new polyps in the colon and will require more frequent follow-up exams. If the patient has a family history of colorectal cancer, the interval for their follow-up exam may be shortened. After a colonoscopy, the doctor will recommend when the patient should return for another colonoscopy.

•             Talk to family:  People who have been diagnosed with polyps or colorectal cancer should notify their family members of the type of polyp or cancer found and their age at diagnosis. Both factors are important in assessing family members' risk and will help their doctor determine when the family members should begin screening for colorectal cancer.

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