10 Fun Facts about Colonoscopy
Nothing is funny about colonoscopy or colon cancer. These 10 fun facts about colonoscopy provide interesting numbers to keep in mind when you or your loved ones get a colonoscopy.
Each time you think about the inconvenience of colonoscopy, remember that colorectal cancer is the 2nd leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
Colon cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in men and women. Read key statistics for colorectal cancer.
3. 50 years old.
Average risk individuals should begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50.
4. 40 years
Individuals with family history of colorectal cancer or precancerous polyps (adenoma) in a first degree relative before age 60 years or 2 or more first degree relatives at any age should begin screening for colorectal cancer using colonoscopy at age 40 or 10 years before the youngest case in the immediate family. Screening with colonoscopy is recommended every 5 years in this population.
5. 10 years.
An average risk person without colon polyps on screening colonoscopy should have repeat screening colonoscopy 10 years after.
6. 6 minutes.
An effective physician should spend a minimum of 6 minutes withdrawing the scope from the cecum (start of the colon) to the anus in order to allow for adequate inspection. Physicians that spend less than 6 minutes are more likely to miss colon polyps.
7. 5 hours.
The split-dose regimen has been shown in multiple studies to be superior to non-split-dose regimen for bowel preparation. The superiority of the split-dose regimen is lost if the second dose is consumed more than 5 hours before the scheduled colonoscopy. The bowel cleansing agent should therefore be finished within 3 to 4 hours of scheduled colonoscopy. Read the 5hr rule study.
8. 25 percent.
An effective physician should detect precancerous polyps in at least 25% of average risk persons presenting for screening colonoscopy. This figure (25%) is for men and women. For men, it should be 30% and for women, it should be 20%. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2014, each 1% increase in the adenoma detection rate was associated with a 3% decrease in colorectal cancer.
9. 95 percent.
An effective physician should be able to complete the colonoscopy (reach the cecum or the terminal ileum) in at least 95% of all screening colonoscopies.
10. < 1:1000.
An effective physician should have less than one in a thousand patients with a complication of perforation during screening colonoscopies.
To get the most out of colonoscopy, read the 3 P’s of colonoscopy: factors that determine the outcome of colonoscopy.