Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
170 Doctors are Online

What are the risk of death from colonoscopy complication and colon cancer?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 5767 Questions
It appears to me, from CDC data, that a white male with no risk factors is more likely to die from colonoscopy complications than from colon cancer. .03% deaths from colonoscopy complications, .0002% deaths from Colon Cancer. Where is the wrong?
Posted Sat, 23 Feb 2013 in Colon Cancer
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 23 minutes later

Thank you for the query.

The risk of death from colonoscopy is approximately 0,006% which is very very low. Lifetime risk of colon cancer for general population is 5%. And this risk is very low for people below 50, and significantly increases with age (especially over 50). The lifetime risk of colorectal cancer mortality is 2,6%. This risk is low because of the usage of colonoscopy for screening. Without this test, the risk would be much higher.
Moreover, you do not have to perform colonoscopy if you have no symptoms. You can do instead iFOBT every year (fecal occult blood test). Colonoscopy should be done every 10 years.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the risk of death from colonoscopy complication and colon cancer? 43 minutes later
I certainly like your more optimistic statistics. Annals of XXXXXXX Medicine 137(2):132-41 report fatal colonoscopy complications of .03%. CDC "Incedence of Colorectal Cancer Deaths 1999-2009" Total Population 22/100,000.

Thank you the reply.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 5 minutes later

My statistics comes from DeVita - Cancer - Principles and Practice of Oncology 8e (Lippincott, 2008) and Greenfield Surgery 5ed. But this is only statistics. You never know if you are in this few percents or not. That is why, screening tests should be done as it is really worth.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Medical Procedures
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an Oncologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor