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18-10-2010 | Oncology | Article

Prioritize prostate cancer patients for colonoscopy screening


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MedWire News: Study results show that men with prostate cancer are significantly more likely to have abnormal colon polyps (adenomas) and advanced adenomas than men without the disease.

The research team therefore emphasizes the importance of prostate cancer patients receiving routine screening colonoscopies in order to detect colorectal cancer promptly.

"Colon cancer and prostate cancer are two of the most common cancers in males," said study author Ognian Pomakov (University at Buffalo, New York, USA) who presented the findings today at the American College of Gastroenterology Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Previous research has linked insulin-like growth factors with an increased incidence of both colon and prostate cancer, but little is known about the prevalence of colorectal neoplasms in men with prostate cancer.

"Our study is the first to show that men with prostate cancer are at increased risk for developing colon cancer, and that it is especially important for these men not to skip their routine colonoscopies," Pomakov added.

The researchers reviewed data from 2011 men who underwent screening colonoscopy between 2003 and 2010, 188 of whom had prostate cancer. The team compared incidences of adenomas and advanced adenomas (>1 cm, villous histology, high-grade dysplasia) between these cases and the remaining men without prostate cancer.

Incidence of adenomas was significantly higher among prostate cancer patients than controls, at 47.9% versus 30.8%. This trend was mirrored for advanced adenomas with an incidence rate of 15.4% among prostate cancer patients compared with 10.0% among controls.

After analysis by location, adenomas in the proximal and distal colon were far more frequent in men with prostate cancer than in those without, at a respective 17.6% and 20.2% versus 13.1% and 11.6%.

Pomakov and colleagues adjusted the analysis by age and race to avoid potential confounding, but the results remained the same, leading them to suggest that prostate cancer patients should be considered high risk and screened at appropriate intervals.

"In light of the limited resources of healthcare systems, a priority should be given to these patients for colonoscopy screening," concluded Pomakov.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Sarah Guy

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