Bethesda, Maryland (Feb. 18, 2020) - Patients at average risk of colorectal cancer who have a normal colonoscopy do not need to repeat screening for 10 years. It is common for polyps to be removed and tested during a colonoscopy, but the amount and size of polyps removed will change the patient's follow-up screening schedule. In two new publications from the U.S. Multisociety Task Force (MSTF) on Colorectal Cancer, experts provide a timeline for patients to be rechecked for colorectal cancer based on their initial colonoscopy as well as recommendations for physicians to apply the safest and most effective techniques to completely remove polyps.
Colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., is preventable when precancerous polyps are found and removed before they turn into cancer. Screening for average-risk patients is recommended to begin at age 50. The recommendation documents from the U.S. Multisociety Task Force -- which is comprised of representatives of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy -- aim to improve colorectal cancer prevention and early detection.
Recommendations for Follow-Up After Colonoscopy and Polypectomy1
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For this publication, the U.S. MSTF reviewed their 2012 recommendations2 and provide an updated schedule for follow-up colonoscopy following a patient's initial high-quality exam:
Patient has no polyps: Next colonoscopy in 10 years
Patient has 1?2 polyps <10mm: Next colonoscopy in 7-10 years (instead of 5-10 years)
Patient has 3-4 polyps <10mm: Next colonoscopy in 3-5 years (instead of 3 years)
Patient has more than 10 polyps: Next colonoscopy in 1 year (instead of 3 years)
Patient has serrated polyps: Review the document for complete recommendations
Patient has advanced polyps: Next colonoscopy in 3 years
To review all MSTF recommendations for patient follow-up, review the full publication. https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(19)41479-0/fulltext
Recommendations for Endoscopic Removal of Colorectal Lesions3
In this publication, the U.S. MSTF provides best practices for the endoscopic removal of precancerous colorectal polyps during colonoscopy, which is called a polypectomy.
Best practices for polyp assessment and description
MSTF recommends macroscopic characterization of a polyp, which provides information to facilitate the polyp's histologic prediction, and optimal removal strategy.