Colonoscopies may not provide much cancer prevention
benefit after age 75, according to a new study led
by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
The study was published online September 27, 2016 in
the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Lead author Xabier Garcia-Albeniz, research
associate in the Department of Epidemiology and
colleagues reviewed data on more than 1.3 million
Medicare patients aged 70 to 79.
They found a slight reduction in colon cancer risk
over eight years in those who had a colonoscopy–from
just under 3% to a little more than 2% in those
younger than 75, but they found it had little or no
effect on cancer risk in patients over 75.
The risk for adverse events was low but greater
among older persons.
But cancer experts caution that age shouldn’t be
only criterion for colon cancer screening. Robert
Smith of the American Cancer Society said the
overall health and life expectancy of the patient
should also be considered, the article stated.
For more information
Annals of Internal Medicine
Effectiveness of Screening Colonoscopy to Prevent
Colorectal Cancer Among Medicare Beneficiaries Aged
70 to 79 Years: A Prospective Observational Study