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Diagnosed with colon cancer. Colonoscopy found polyp and removed. Chances of recurring?

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Practicing since : 2001
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My father was diagnosed with colon cancer at 52, had a colon resection done, chemo, and now is fine at 65. Due to that and rectal bleeding, I had my first colonoscopy at 37, one polyp found and removed. Another one done at age 40, one polyp found and removed. I have scheduled my three year follow up colonoscopy. I always suffer from anxiety regarding the procedure. What are the chances of having another polyp or a cancerous polyp in three years? I have also had some sort of pressure feeling below right ribs. Ultrasound and blood work was normal. It is a feeling that comes and goes. Is that attributed to my colon?
Posted Thu, 9 May 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
Answered by Dr. Abhijit Deshmukh 6 hours later

Thank you for the query.

I understand your concern.

Well definitely you have and increased risk as compared to general population on having an colon cancer.
But if you have been having regular screening colonoscopies and removal of polyps then surely this risk significantly comes down.
It is very uncommon for a new polyp to develop cancer in three year.
Only small risk is that polyps can be missed during examination (even with best hands) but usually they are very small and unlikely to turn cancerous.
The sensation that you describe in background of normal ultrasound and blood work suggest dyspepsia symptoms which can worsen with stress and anxiety.

Hope this answers your query.
Wish you a healthy life ahead.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed with colon cancer. Colonoscopy found polyp and removed. Chances of recurring? 9 hours later
I have read stories online about people who had a colonoscopy and three years later they have cancer. It is my understanding that it takes ten years for a polyps to turn into cancer. How can cancer be there after a small amount of time? Even if the physician missed something, still yet only a small amount of time has passed. Is it safe to presume that, no matter if no polyps are found this time, I will have to do a colonoscopy every three years for the rest of my life? I have no issue with this as I wish to be proactive. Also, is it abnormal for a 37 year old to have a polyp? I should mention the only family history i have of colon cancer is my father. My mother had polyps but those were found at age 60.
Answered by Dr. Abhijit Deshmukh 3 hours later

Thank you for the query,

Yes, there are reports of cancer occurring in patients who have undergone colonoscopy in last 3 years. But we have no concrete explanation for those.

But it is recommended to do a follow up colonoscopy every 3 years - but this time frame may depend on the size of polyps, there number, histopathological feature, family history and age of the individual. Also guidelines vary.

Well polyps can occur at any age, though the incidence increase with age.

Family history of polpys increases your risk in some conditions of having polyps.

Hope this answers your query. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Wish you an healthy life ahead...

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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