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Colon Cancer

Tubular adenoma colonoscopy

10/09/2008

Question:

I am a male, age 61, non-smoking but overweight, not obese though (6` 215) (weight going down down through diet and exercise). I had my first colonoscopy 2 weeks ago at age 61 - it was for a routine screening. I had no symptoms prior to or after the exam. One "small" polyp was found and removed. I was advised that these are typical colon polyps which do require periodic surveillance. It was recommended I have a follow up colonoscopy in five years. Before getting the written report the doctor said in the examination room she had found and removed a small polyp and that she "was not the least bit concerned with it". I thought if polyps were found that there should be a 1 or 2 year screening period -- Can you advise why 5 years was recommended?

Thank you

And a big thank you to my wife and 2 special friends for pushing me to finally have an exam ---- which was no big deal.

Answer:

Follow up depends on size, type and number of polyps as well as how good the quality of the prep was. For a single, small tubular adenoma, a 5 year interval is appropriate. It is only large polyps, where there are aggressive changes under the microscope, where early follow up is required.

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Response by:

Gregory S Cooper, MD Gregory S Cooper, MD
Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University