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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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How Frequently Should A Colonoscopy Be Conducted For Precancerous Adenoma?

Hi. I am a 56 year old female. I was diagnosed with Stage 1, Grade 3 Ductal Carcinoma in 2015. I had a double mastectomy and chemo. Earlier this year I had a colonoscopy and a precancerous adenoma was found. I was told that I wouldn t need another colonoscopy was needed for 5 years. Since my oncologist told me they couldn t be certain that they got all the cancer, this naturally concerns me. Not that I want to do another colonoscopy but I do want to make sure I catch anything early, as I did with the breast cancer. So my question is why is it medically reasonable to wait so long? Thanks for your time.
Thu, 13 Jun 2019
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Radiation Oncologist 's  Response
Hello,

If I were in your place, would have also been worried. Usually, breast cancer and colon cancer are two different cancers without any association between the two.

In general, a person has diagnosed with cancer, the risk of him or her developing second cancer is slightly higher compared to normal individuals.

Usually, colonoscopy is recommended every ten years, in your case, it has been recommended, I presume, for this very reason, to detect early when it is still curable.

Secondly, usually any cancer takes a certain time to grow, for a precancerous adenoma to become cancer, it will take time.

However, it depends upon the type of adenoma, since there are different types ranging from benign with minimal risk of developing into cancer to dangerous ones which have the highest probability in turning into cancer.

In order to comment upon your risk, would like to know the details of the precancerous adenoma, whether it is single or multiple, shape (sessile or pedunculated), etc.

Whether to wait or not, depends upon the type, I am guessing the adenoma found is one of the mild types and hence the advice of repeat test after 5 years.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care

Regards,
Dr Jatin Bhatia, Radiation Oncologist
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How Frequently Should A Colonoscopy Be Conducted For Precancerous Adenoma?

Hello, If I were in your place, would have also been worried. Usually, breast cancer and colon cancer are two different cancers without any association between the two. In general, a person has diagnosed with cancer, the risk of him or her developing second cancer is slightly higher compared to normal individuals. Usually, colonoscopy is recommended every ten years, in your case, it has been recommended, I presume, for this very reason, to detect early when it is still curable. Secondly, usually any cancer takes a certain time to grow, for a precancerous adenoma to become cancer, it will take time. However, it depends upon the type of adenoma, since there are different types ranging from benign with minimal risk of developing into cancer to dangerous ones which have the highest probability in turning into cancer. In order to comment upon your risk, would like to know the details of the precancerous adenoma, whether it is single or multiple, shape (sessile or pedunculated), etc. Whether to wait or not, depends upon the type, I am guessing the adenoma found is one of the mild types and hence the advice of repeat test after 5 years. Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further. Take care Regards, Dr Jatin Bhatia, Radiation Oncologist