Brief Class on Easy-to-Miss Polyps Ups Detection

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Most people know a colonoscopy requires some preparation by the patient. Now, a Mayo Clinic physician suggests an additional step to lower the risk of colorectal cancer: Ask for your doctor’s success rate detecting easy-to-miss polyps called adenomas.

The measure of success is called the adenoma detection rate, or ADR, and has been linked to a reduced risk of developing a new cancer after the colonoscopy. The current recommended national benchmark is at least 20 percent, which means that an endoscopist should be able to detect adenomas in at least one of five patients getting a colonoscopy.

Recently, the Mayo Clinic in Florida developed a two-hour course designed to increase a doctor’s ADR rate in order to reduce development of colorectal cancer.

They found the short course made a big difference in even experienced endocopsists, the physicians who perform colonoscopies.

“Numerous studies have shown that increased detection and removal of potentially precancerous polyps lowers the incidence of colorectal cancer," said Michael Wallace, MD, MPH, chair of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Florida. “We also know that there is a lot of variability in how proficient physicians are at finding those polyps."

A team of Mayo physicians and researchers led by Dr. Wallace, has long been working to help endoscopists better detect polyps. Their findings are published in the Jan. 8 online issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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